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JUNE 2, 2015 – Three of the four cats brought to the Tompkins County SPCA Sunday with symptoms of poisoning were humanely euthanized on Monday due to the severity of their signs, according to the Cornell veterinarian overseeing their care. The fourth cat was dead on arrival.

A fifth cat, brought in yesterday, presented with much milder symptoms and appears to be improving, says Dr. Elizabeth Berliner, Director of Shelter Medicine at Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM). Berliner says that cat is receiving supportive care and monitoring.

All five cats were members of a feral colony being managed by caretakers in Ithaca’s Collegetown neighborhood.

Two of the four that are deceased had already been spayed and neutered by the shelter’s TNR program. The Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at Cornell and the CVM toxicology lab have been working with the SPCA to identify the toxin.

The problem still appears to be limited to Collegetown. Neighborhood residents who are concerned that their own pets may have been exposed should watch them for profuse drooling, tremors, and unusual amounts of urination.

Any pet with acute illness should be seen by his or her veterinarian as soon as possible. If symptoms arise outside of business hours, the Cornell University Hospital for Animals offers 24-hour-a-day emergency services; bring the pet to the hospital at 930 Campus Road, Ithaca, NY or call (607) 253-3060 for more information.

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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.