It’s that time of year – Spring has sprung! While we all love the warmer weather and sunbeams to nap in, this month we’ll take a look at some of the dangers Spring brings including the deadly lily and other dangerous spring time flowers.
First and foremost is the dreaded Lily – beloved by many but deadly to cats. Every year around Easter, we see several cases of toxic lily ingestion and the results can be devastating. We cannot stress enough how serious lily ingestion is and how quickly it affects your cat. If your feline friend consumes any part of a lily, whether the stem, the leaves, the stamens, the pollen, or the petals, the toxins within them can cause acute kidney failure and death within three to six days if left untreated. Symptoms usually begin within 6-12 hours of ingestion.
If you have lilies in your house, get rid of them immediately. Even the ones in high places that you think might be unreachable. Cats are very agile and very curious and it’s just not worth the risk. Here are the most common deadly lilies:
Severe symptoms – Fatal
If you think your cat may have eaten, chewed, or licked any part of a plant from the Lily family, check for the following symptoms and get to a veterinarian as soon as possible – don’t wait!
Possible symptoms include:
• Loss of appetite
• Increased urination and lack of urination after one to two days
• Seizures or tremors
If you notice any of these things, get your cat to a vet immediately – time really matters with toxicity. Getting your cat veterinary care within 18 hours of ingestion will greatly increase the chances of recovery. Typical treatment depends greatly how your cat looks upon arrival but typical treatment involves inducing vomiting if the ingestion was recent enough to come back up. Then your cat will be on IV fluids in an attempt to flush out toxins from their system and keep them hydrated. We’ll also run preliminary blood and urine tests to check liver and kidney function. Those tests may be repeated throughout your cat’s treatment to check progress.
While this time of year we focus on lilies, there are numerous plants that could be in your home or yard that cause toxicity ranging from digestive upset to death. The ASPCA has a detailed list of plants with pictures to help you identify any that may be in your home or yard. Here are the most common plants that end up in your home or yard this time of year with less severe symptoms:
Moderate Symptoms : Digestive Upset/Facial Swelling/Itching
Lily of the Incas or Peruvian Lily
Peace Lily or Mauna Loa Lily
When in doubt, call us or your local 24 hour facility and don’t wait. With so many different types and varieties with such a wide range of symptoms, it’s simply not worth the risk.