Compend Contin Educ Vet. 2009 Apr;31(4):E1-6; quiz E7.


Salt toxicity can be fatal in dogs and cats. Whether toxicity occurs accidentally or iatrogenically, it is important to recognize the clinical signs of sodium toxicosis, which are mainly caused by hypernatremia and associated cerebral edema. Treatment involves prompt initiation of fluid therapy along with careful monitoring of neurologic status, serum and plasma electrolytes, and serum osmolarity. Salt was once recommended as an emetic for dogs and cats but has fallen out of favor because of the lethal complications that can arise from overzealous administration.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cat Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cat Diseases / mortality
  • Cat Diseases / therapy
  • Cats
  • Dog Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Dog Diseases / mortality
  • Dog Diseases / therapy
  • Dogs
  • Fluid Therapy / veterinary*
  • Hypernatremia / diagnosis
  • Hypernatremia / mortality
  • Hypernatremia / therapy
  • Hypernatremia / veterinary*
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Water-Electrolyte Balance / physiology