Pets in Distress

By Sam Mazzotta

DEAR PAW’S CORNER: Recently, my cat “Clark Gable” got very ill — vomiting frequently and lethargic. I had no idea what was wrong, so I called my veterinarian. The vet’s assistant talked me through some important steps that

I didn’t know and wouldn’t have been able to accomplish in my panicked state, such as looking at what C.G. was vomiting up and looking for possible sources of poisoning in my apartment. She advised me to bring him in immediately along with a sample of the vomit (gross, right?) and a couple of possible
items he could have eaten.

The vet was able to quickly treat C.G., who has made a complete recovery. But I’ve become much more aware that I need to learn when my cat is in distress and how to prevent him getting into dangerous things — like the houseplant leaves he ingested. I hope you’ll remind readers to educate themselves as
well. — Clarence in Cincinnati

DEAR CLARENCE: Your story is more common than you’d think. Thanks for sharing it.

If you have a pet, it’s very important to know that many household items can be dangerous if your pet ingests them. For example, many cats love to chew on the leaves of houseplants — but many houseplants are extremely poisonous to cats, especially plants from the lily family. Other seemingly benign things,
like chocolate and onions, can be harmful to pets, especially dogs.

Even armed with the knowledge of what can harm your pet, accidents can happen. For example, a dog can break into the pantry and eat a giant bag of dog food. Make sure to display the phone number of your pet’s veterinarian and the nearest emergency pet hospital near the telephone or on the refrigerator where you can access it should your pet ever be injured, ill or in distress.

Send your questions or comments to, or write to Paw’s Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. For more pet care-related advice and information, visit

(c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

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