Lilies are lethal for your feline friend!
As the Easter season approaches, I thought it would be a good time to remind everyone about the dangers of lily toxicosis. All Lilies are toxic to our feline friends, but I will focus on lilies belonging to Lillium and Hemerocallis species (Stargazers, tiger lilies, Easter lilies, daylilies, etc.). Note that Lily of the Valley, Calla lily and Peace lily are not true lilies but are still toxic, just in different ways.
ALL parts of the lily are highly toxic, including the pollen. This means that cats that rub/brush against or sniff the flowers can still be fatally poisoned when they groom off the pollen. The toxic principle is unknown, but it causes acute kidney (renal) failure. Renal failure develops with in 24 – 72 hours. The only initial sign may be vomiting. Once renal failure develops, signs can include anorexia, vomiting, depression, dehydration, and death. Kittens and young cats are at highest risk of exposure as they are generally more inquisitive and agile than their older counterparts, able to get to plants that are supposedly out of reach.
Cats treated within 18 hours of exposure (before renal failure develops) generally have a good prognosis. Cats who present as already in renal failure do not survive, even with aggressive treatment. The goals of treatment are 1.) decontamination by inducing vomiting (if they have not already done so on their own) and giving activated charcoal to decrease absorption of the toxin, and 2.) protecting the kidneys via IV fluid diuresis for 48 hours. Kidney values need to be checked every 24 hours.
If you suspect your cat may have ingested or come in physical contact with a lily, contact us immediately or, if it is after hours, contact the emergency clinic. Do not wait! The sooner treatment is started, the better the chances for survival. For further information please visit noliliesforcats.com.
Hello to everyone, and thank you for the warm reception as your new doctor! I have greatly enjoyed taking over the reins at Cats on Broadway and meeting everyone. We are trying something new and will be starting a monthly email newsletter. They will be short and informative. Topics will vary from general health and nutrition to specific illnesses and a few things in between. The purpose of these newsletters is to help you become more aware of the needs of your feline friend so that they can have a long and healthy life. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. If you would like further information, have any questions about any of the topics, or have a specific topic you would like to see in an upcoming newsletter, please let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not wish to receive the newsletter then please, use the unsubscribe link below or give us a call.
Dr. Jenny Ault