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Lily flowers and cats don't mix. An Easter season warning...

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  • Lily flowers and cats don't mix. An Easter season warning...

    Last week, some friends came to visit. One of them brought a rubrum lily. It was put in a vase on the counter and I didn't think anything of it. Besides, my kitty leaves houseplants alone for the most part and she stays off the counter.

    Yesterday, some other people came to visit. I had a new side table and the lily flower (which had now fully bloomed) got moved to the table. Again, didn't think anything of it.

    This morning, I went to the living room and kitty was chewing on the plant. I googled "lily plants and cats" (as I do with everything she gets into) and was horrified to read that they are very dangerously toxic to cats. Every part of the plant is toxic and they can get ill from chewing without ingesting the plant or even by licking pollen off their fur. Called the emergency vet, who told me to bring her in immediately.

    She hadn't seemed sick; no vomiting, was interested when I broke out the food, no unusual drinking or urination. They induced vomiting at the clinic. It was difficult; she was not in the mood to barf and the injection did nothing, so they had to resort to hydrogen peroxide. Sure enough, there was a leaf tip corresponding with one of the leaves on my plant. A bigger hunk of another leaf was missing but was not present in her stomach, so she may have been munching on it during the night. She's staying overnight for observation, IV fluids and activated charcoal.

    Thankfully, her bloodwork has been clean so far. BUN, creatinine and electrolytes are normal. The clinic hasn't called with her UA results yet, but the vet is supposed to call when she finishes her shift. Our normal clinic is letting me drop her off there for continued care early tomorrow morning.

    Poor thing had been so normal-looking and perky when I brought her in that it almost broke my heart when they let me see her before I left. She was droopy and drugged, with a bit of vomit on her face (and she was stumbling around in her best impression of a town drunk).

    The good news is that the toxin takes a little more time to be digested from the leaves, so hopefully she didn't get too strong of a dose. And early treatment may have saved her life. The bad news is that if kidney failure occurs, we will likely lose her. I'm also hoping that there isn't any long-term kidney damage that could come back to bite us when she gets older. We could use some jingles.

    So please learn from my mistake (which will certainly never be happening again). There must be something tasty about lilies if my kitty was uncharacteristically eating one. And it's really not worth the money and stress of this incident to ever have one in my home again. Here's a picture of some common ones that are toxic to cats: http://www.encinavet.com.php5-21.dfw...11/04/lily.jpg

  • #2
    Thanks for the heads up! Lilies are one of my fave flowers.

    Jingles for your kitty cat.

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    • #3
      One up side to not being able to have ANY indoor plants, even kitty-safe ones. (My cats destroy them. Marcus killed the lucky bamboo. I don't even bother any more.)
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      • #4
        I thought the toxicity was downgraded recently. My cat started drooling once, light foaming at the mouth. Vet declared her okay, but it was a puzzle. Got her home and she literally ran to a spot where dried out lilly leaves had fallen from plant up on a shelf she gulped them down as I yelled at her.
        Weird cat ! Anyway, she was okay. Maybe some cats handle it better than others.


        • #5
          Another plant highly toxic to cats is the poinsettia. Also I believe asparagus ferns.

          Oliver and I both take pills every morning - he gets his half a pred and I take an anti-anxiety drug. Gave him my pill one morning by mistake (groggy) and realized immediately what I had done. Rushed him to the ER vet - almost lost him. Glad I got him there in time.
          What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!


          • #6
            Pretty much anything that is a true lily is toxic to pets and that includes onions and garlic. Fortunately, nothing in that family comes into my house as I am allergic to them

            Another family that is dangerous is solanum which covers a pretty big group of things people like to eat such as tomatoes and potatoes
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            • Original Poster

              Man, some of your stories make me think that cats have death wishes as strong as horses'.

              Quick update: Kitty is now home, bloodwork was clean yesterday. She's getting subcutaneous fluids twice a day here at home. That is an adventure since I am doing this alone and she keeps squirming and "complain-talking" throughout the entire process. The latter is, apparently, a very tortie thing. I have never heard a cat make a "talking" noise before! I have to wrap her in a towel and gently pin her down since she keeps popping the needle out as soon as she can. So I then need three hands to operate the drip. If anyone else has any tips on this, please tell me! I've been looking for a thread from a while back on subq fluids. I think I remember someone saying that you can use a different needle gauge? They gave me 18s and I'm thinking about grabbing a 20 tomorrow from work to see if she'll object less to it.

              She is peeing a lot more and it seems more dilute (based only on a quick sniff test). I'm so, so hopeful that it's only because she's pumped full of fluids and not because her kidneys are unable to concentrate her urine. This is about the time the window of time where if they're going to fail from what she ate on Sat/Sun, they'll fail now. We're going in tomorrow for another round of bloodwork and a UA.


              • #8
                Originally posted by sk_pacer View Post
                Another family that is dangerous is solanum which covers a pretty big group of things people like to eat such as tomatoes and potatoes
                Tomatoes and potatoes are nightshades. Literally everything in that family is just plain toxic to one degree or another (yes, we can eat some fruits of particular species but even there, don't eat the leaves.) The story about how people were afraid to eat tomatoes seems a LOT less silly when you realize its closest relatives are actually deadly.
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                • #9
                  Oops, my info was on pointsettas, not lilliesre:tomatoes one of cats loved tomatoe paste (and asperagus soup).
                  With my last cat (rip Tilly), I put ber in her travelling cage to give her subcutaneous fluids. That kept her from running away and pulling her needle out. While that worked, she was so vdry unhappy I ended up putting her to sleep. My other cat tolerated it well for about a year until kidney disease took her :sad:


                  • #10
                    Oops, my info was on pointsettas, not lilliesre:tomatoes one of cats loved tomatoe paste (and asperagus soup).
                    With my last cat (rip Tilly), I put ber in her travelling cage to give her subcutaneous fluids. That kept her from running away and pulling her needle out. While that worked, she was so vdry unhappy I ended up putting her to sleep. My other cat tolerated it well for about a year until kidney disease took her :sad:


                    • #11
                      Aw man,sorry you had to go through all that! Of course, leave it up to the cat who doesnt chew plants to find the toxic one!

                      We had one client bring her cat in for eating a lilly. It was of course 6 hours later so vomiting was not likely going to help. She also needed serial BUN/Creatine checks, IV fluids, urinary catheterer, charcoal etc. She was in hospital 48 hours and came back every day for 3 days after weaned off fluids. Her bill was quite large at the end of the visit, but she was thrilled her cats kidneys were never compromised. Scary, it can affect some cats and nearly kill them and others do just fine with some supportive treatment.