Last week, Maddie Smith from New Zealand woke up to find her cat, Ruby, “walking really strangely and holding her head in an odd position.”

Just like most pet owners, the family assumed it might just be one of those days that Ruby got a cold, so they gave her a warm bed to get some sleep on as they left for work. But when they returned home, Ruby was nowhere near okay.

Ruby was unable to eat or drink, because she can’t control her tongue. She also can’t see, hear, or even walk properly.

Veterinarians at the Rose Avenue Vet Hospital ran a couple of tests and discovered that Ruby had extremely high sodium levels in her blood, which resulted to salt poisoning. Ruby’s brain began to swell and led to neurological problems, hence her difficulty in walking and eating.

They realized that Ruby must have been licking her owner’s salt lamp and if she was not taken to the hospital in time, she would have died.

The vets gave her IV to get her blood the normal levels of sodium and chloride and after just a few days, she was allowed to go home.

“In general, salt poisoning in dogs and cats is usually accidental, with the most common scenario involving dogs ingesting homemade playdough,” the vets said in a statement. “The neurological signs seen in salt poisoning cases occur due to swelling in the brain that results from disruption in the body’s electrolyte levels.”

Smith also pleaded to other pet owners to be responsible and keep salt lamps away from animals.

“Please please keep these out of reach from your fur babies. Ruby still has a long road to recovery, but we are so glad she’s still here with us, with the right nutrition and hydration we should have her back to normal,” Smith said.

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