Sunday, April 5, 2009

Pretty Poison

Did you know?

Spring is trying to appear here in the Rocky Mountains and the grocery stores are spiffed up by those glorious Easter Lilies for the holiday. Before you pick the best specimen, drink in the heady perfume, and head for the check-out counter, consider that Lilies can be a pretty poison for "Lucky" the cat.

Let me tell you why!

Members of the plant genus Lilium produce a chemical, present throughout the plant, which can cause a cat to suffer fatal kidney failure. It can be deadly for a cat to simply bite into a lily leaf or petal, lick lily pollen from its paws, or drink water from a vase containing cut lilies. Easter lilies, stargazer lilies, tiger lilies, day lilies and Asiatic lilies seem to be the most hazardous of this group of plants.

If you suspect that "Lucky" has been nibbling on your Lily plant call your veterinarian immediately, or bring "Lucky" to Central Veterinary Emergency Services. Signs of exposure include vomiting, refusing to eat, and acting depressed. Treatment is centered on kidney function for which repeated blood tests will track progress. "Lucky" will receive supportive care administered by way of IV fluids, and medications to control nausea and vomiting. Immediate treatment will provide better chances of recovery. This is not something to "wait and see" about.

The moral of the story - buy the Easter Orchid and leave the lilies for the pet free homes.

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