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Tips From the Pet Poison HELPLINE

We all want to keep our furbabies safe and healthy. Dogster Kristy Sweetland, furmom to Seva and Finlay, will be providing weekly tips and warnings...

Joy  |  Apr 4th 2007


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We all want to keep our furbabies safe and healthy. Dogster Kristy Sweetland, furmom to Seva and Finlay, will be providing weekly tips and warnings from the Pet Poison HELPLINE to make that job easier. As a veterinary technician with the Pet Poison HELPLINE she’s going to help us all stay more on top of what’s dangerous for our furry family members.

Lilies!

Few flowers rival the lily in fragrance or beauty. If ingested by your dog, a stomach ache may occur. If ingested by your cat? Deadly.The reason cats are so susceptible is not entirely understood. No other domestic animal, including dogs, is similarly affected. What we do know, is that any plant in the Lilium or Hemerocallis genus of lilies is thought to be harmful. Common lilies included in these families are the Easter lily- prevalent in so many homes this time of year- and the tiger lily, Japanese show lily, and day lily. Other lilies may be poisonous as well, but the jury is still out on them.

If a kitty cat nibbles on any part of these lilies, even tiny pieces of the flower, stem, or leaf, it will likely face complete kidney failure within 48 hours unless veterinary care is provided. If you cannot guarantee that absolutely no feline exposure is possible, keep your home completely free of these plants. What happens if you find your cat nosing around a lily? Maybe youre unsure if your cat tasted it or not? Call your veterinarian regardless, and do it immediately! There is no time to spare in these cases. Preventative measures to protect the kidney should be implemented as soon as possible. In cases of poisoning, the first signs you will likely notice are drooling and vomiting. These usually begin a few hours after ingestion and are quickly followed by lethargy and loss of appetite. Within 48 hours these progress to dehydration, inability to produce urine, and kidney failure. Once this occurs, little can be done to reverse the effects. With early intervention, however, medications and intravenous fluids can be used to protect the kidneys. With early treatment, the prognosis for a full recovery is good.

Why are cats the only mammal affected by lilies? The answer to this question is not yet known and continues to puzzle many scientists. One thing were sure of is that kitties are fragile. The same ingestion, potentially life threatening to a cat, will do nothing more than cause a bit of indigestion in our dog. So if your household is 100% dog oriented, go ahead and adorn your home with these beauties. If not? Think twice and go with the roses!