You Make The Diagnosis: Cats And Flowers

Pictured below is a magnificent arrangement of flowers.  Although the flowers are beautiful, one type is highly toxic to cats.  Which flower is poisonous?  What are the symptoms of toxicity?

Diagnosis:  Lily  (Lilium and Hemerocallis species)

Lilies from the Lilium and Hemerocallis species contain a toxin that causes renal diease in cats.  (The two orange flowers with brown spots on their long, broad petals.)  Initially, affected individuals are anorexic and listless.  As their condition worsens, vomiting and diarrhea often develop.  Without treatment, most will develop renal failure in one to three days.  If you think your pet got into a lily, even the pollen, get veterinary help immediately.  With early diagnosis and aggressive treatment, most cats will recover from lily toxicity.    

Brutlag, Ahna.  From the Planter to the Carpet:  Toxic Plants and the Small Animal Patient. Western Veterinary Conference 2010. 

Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.

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