A marked increase in suspected secondary cases of Alpha-chloralose (AC) poisoning in cats was reported to national veterinary and chemical authorities/institutes in Finland, Norway and Sweden in 2018 and 2019 by veterinarians working in clinical practices in the respective countries. This led to the initiation of several Nordic research projects, and a recently published study on AC- poisoning in cats in the three countries were co-funded by the Nordic council. This publication by Windahl et al. (1) is the main scientific foundation to the present report. Data on signalment, history and clinical findings were prospectively collected in Finland, Norway and Sweden using a questionnaire which the attending veterinarian completed and submitted together with a serum sample collected from suspected feline cases of AC-poisoning. The diagnosis was confirmed by quantification of AC in serum samples. Furthermore, feline urine samples were screened for AC metabolites, and bait intake and amount of AC consumed by wild mice was observed. The aim of the study was to investigate the possibility of secondary AC poisoning in cats from consuming poisoned mice, and to study metabolism and excretion of AC in cats. Findings in studies highlighted in this report (1,6) supports the theory that deficiency in enzymes responsible for conjugation reaction could make the cats more susceptible and prone to AC poisoning compared to e.g. dogs. Furthermore, the results from the studies showed that secondary poisoning of cats from ingestion of mice is possible and highlights the risk of AC poisoning to non-target species. Observations of wild mice revealed that they can consume significantly more AC-containing bait than earlier presumed.
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