As we say hello to spring, many of us choose to brighten up our homes with a fresh bouquet of flowers. Some flowers are relatively harmless while others can cause stomach upset. There are some flowers which can be very toxic to your pet – even fatal.
One of the most common and popular of which is the Lily. All lily flowers and all plant parts should be considered toxic, and even just a nibble can be fatal. Vomiting, lethargy and decreased appetite are the most common initial signs. They are followed by increased drinking and urination. This can progress to complete kidney failure, which is characterized by the lack of production of urine.Our kidneys are essential to life and we cannot live without them, thus this severe degree of kidney failure can only be followed by death.
What can be done you ask? If there is any suspicion that your cat has consumed a lily, we recommend visiting your veterinarian ASAP. They will likely run a blood and urine test to access the current state of the kidneys and start your pet in intravenous fluid therapy. Your vet can also provide additional medication to help with the stomach upset associated with this toxicity. After a couple of days of fluid therapy your vet will likely recheck your cat’s blood work to access kidney health. Some cats are able to recover with full kidney function, while others are left with some with some degree of kidney failure that they will carry with them through life. Some cats are not so lucky and despite the best of care end up in end stage kidney failure ultimately resulting in death.
Our advice to cat owners: no lilies in the home…..not even out of reach, as most cats are quite agile and able to access pretty much any region or surface of your home. There are plenty of beautiful flowers out there, which can decorate your home without harm to your cat. Don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian if you have questions about the safety of a particular plant or flower in your home – it just might save your pet’s life!
-Suzanne Lyons, D.V.M and Practice Owner at Bloor Animal Hospital.