Lilies, cats, and renal failure, oh my…..

By April 17, 2019 Uncategorized

Lilies are extremely toxic to cats!  Cats sometimes eat grass, household plants, mice, strings, and many other potentially dangerous things.  Lilies are very common household and landscaping plants.  Maybe you recognize the pictures below as Asiatic lilies (common landscape), day lilies, peace lilies and lily of the valley (actually causes cardiac failure).  They are often found in floral arrangements also.  Most people don’t realize how toxic lilies can be to their beloved cat.  Ingestion of any part of the plant can lead to renal failure and death.  Dogs seem to be fairly resilient to the toxicity of lilies.  Clinical signs include lethargy, hypersalivation, vomit, diarrhea, anorexia, and dehydration.  Prompt treatment can ward off the life threatening problems however.  Treatment includes hospitalization, IV fluid therapy, and other supportive care measures to help control pain, nausea, and appetite stimulation.  Lab work will be run to monitor for other organ changes, electrolytes, and renal function parameters.  Dialysis may also be necessary if greater than 18-24 hours has passed after ingestion, the damage is severe, or IV fluid therapy is not successful.  However, dialysis requires special equipment and is quite expensive.  If you are suspicious of your cat having any exposure to lilies seek immediate veterinary care.  Don’t wait for clinical signs to develop, it just may be too late by then. 

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