Washing and sanitizing your hands regularly and routinely disinfecting surfaces to help curb the spread of Covid-19 and other harmful germs and bacteria has become the new normal.
Everyone is conscious of the non-negotiable need for enhanced bio-security, but very few appear to be aware that the ingredients that make disinfectants effective make them toxic for our furry companions.
Over the past 18 months, the Animal Welfare Society of SA has treated a lot more pets for the ingestion of common household items like bleach, drain cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner and laundry detergents. All harmless and beneficial to us as long as we adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions but highly toxic for our pets.
On Sunday, May 9, the Animal Welfare Society admitted a tiny, grey tabby kitten named Sisiza from Gugulethu suffering from what appeared to be extensive chemical burns to her mouth, lips and tongue.
Her little tongue and lips were so badly burnt that she could not eat or retract her tongue causing her to drool uncontrollably. The Animal Welfare Society suspects that Sisiza came into contact with bleach that her owner uses to clean and disinfect her home.
“When we placed her on the scale to be weighed the digital read-out barely moved, recording her weight at a mere 1.1kg’s. It was critical that she eat and keep her food down but that is proving to be a real challenge”, says the Animal Welfare Society.
“We have placed her on a course of antibiotics and strong pain medication to keep her as pain-free and comfortable as possible and are feeding her soft food only.”
She is under constant observation and the Animal Welfare Society have noticed that she has tried to eat but failed to keep anything down. The inside of her lips are red-raw and her little tongue has doubled in size. She is fighting for her life and so is the Animal Welfare Society.
The Head of Communications, Resource Development and Fundraising, Allan Perrins visited her yesterday and was shocked to see the extent of the burns, but even more astonished that she managed to purr the whole while he cradled her in his arms.
“She is his inspiration behind this cautionary article that we hope will spare other pets from suffering a similar fate.”