Benzyl alcohol is used in a variety of cosmetics and personal care products including hair dye. It is also commonly found in injectable medications. Ingestion can be very toxic to animals (especially cats), with the possibility of causing coma, respiratory failure, and even death. It is important to keep all medications out of your pets’ reach and read all labels before administering medication to your animal.
In addition to cats and dogs, birds are also indicated for this toxicity.
Signs and symptoms of toxicity: Clinical signs and symptoms of toxicity include difficulty walking, agitation, increased sensitivity to stimuli, and depression.
Toxic consumption: There is no established threshold for toxicity. All incidents of exposure should be reported immediately.
Wilcke, J.R. (1984). Idiosyncracies of drug metabolism in cats: Effects on pharmacotherapeutics in feline practice. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 14(6):1345-54.