If you follow recent trends you’ve probably heard of Himalayan salt lamps. The hip piece of decor is what it sounds like: a big hunk of rock salt mined from the Himalayas, with a light inside. Its proponents claim the lamp has health benefits, and also just looks pretty cool.
But if you got in on the salt lamp craze, and have pets, there’s something important you should know, as a recent viral Facebook post explains.
The warning was posted by Rose Avenue Vet Hospital in New South Wales, Australia, who shared a story written by a woman named Maddie Smith from New Zealand.
Maddie recalled a frightening experience she had with her cat, Ruby. One morning in June Maddie found Ruby suddenly acting strangely: “Ruby [was] walking really strangely and had her head in an odd position as she walked.”
She suspected the cat was just cold, but when Ruby’s condition got even worse Maddie rushed her to the vet. The doctors found the cat in dire condition, her basic senses completely gone.
“The vets were extremely concerned for her and could see she definitely had neurological problems,” Maddie wrote. “She simply could not walk properly, could not hear or see, couldn’t even eat or drink properly because she couldn’t function her tongue the best.”
It was shocking to see the cat deteriorate in just 12 hours—but a blood test pointed them towards the explanation. Ruby had an extremely high sodium level in her blood. Salt poisoning caused her brain to swell, causing the neurological problems she was experiencing.
The source of the poisoning: Maddie’s Himalayan salt lamp, which Ruby had gotten in the habit of licking.
“This is usually more common in dogs so this was a huge shock, and their first case they have seen with a cat,” Maddie writes. “Salt poisoning is EXTREMELY deadly to animals and she is basically a miracle to still be here now.”
She explains that if pets get a taste of the salt lamp, they get addicted and keep going back (“just like potato chips are to us,” Maddie writes) so they pose a serious danger.
The good news is that Ruby is going to make a steady recovery with proper nutrition and hydration. Maddie says the Himalayan salt lamp is getting the boot.
But given how suddenly Ruby deteriorated, it’s easy to imagine how things could’ve gone differently, and Maddie wants to help prevent other pet owners from suffering even worse.
“Hopefully sharing this might help educate others on just how deadly these lamps can be if the salt is ingested,” Maddie writes.
Share this important information!