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When vet’s pets get ill

Vets Yeovil | Cat Vets

We recently celebrated my wife’s 40th birthday (it’s mine later this year) and got sent a beautiful bunch of flowers which contained several lilies. Knowing that certain types of lilies are toxic to cats and as many of you will know from previous articles that I have a cat, I suggested we throw out the lilies to be safe. My wife felt this was ungrateful and we compromised by putting the lilies in the utility room, out of harm’s way. I left to go on a two day course the next morning and the last thing I said to the family was “make sure the utility room door is kept shut!”

I received a call from my wife at 11pm the same evening to say someone had left the door open and Kit (my cat) was sat next to the lilies. My wife was 99% sure he had not eaten any but unfortunately even small amounts of lilies can cause acute and life threatening kidney failure. The whole plant is toxic but the most toxic parts are the pollen, stamen and petals. My wife took Kit into the surgery in the morning to have some blood tests and put him on intravenous fluids. You have an 18 hour window following ingestion to start fluids and this gives an excellent prognosis. If cats have already gone into renal failure and stopped producing urine the prognosis is actually very poor.

His blood tests were all clear but he was hospitalised for 48hrs on fluids. He settled in pretty quickly and when I visited him the following day on my return, he seemed quite a happy little cat and just wanted food and a fuss as normal. We brought him home yesterday and barring a few shaved patches (for blood tests and a drip), he is completely fine.

Maybe a lucky escape, maybe my treatment could be considered over the top but why take any chances? Looking back we should have been more careful with the lilies but hindsight is a wonderful thing. It was a genuine mistake but I suppose the important thing is we knew the risk lilies posed and how to act when we were concerned he had possibly eaten them.

There are so many hazards around the home that pet owners are unaware of and many are plant based. It is worth having a look at some of the lists online, the pet poisons helpline and the Kennel Club are useful resources but there are many others. The important thing is to try and be aware of the the common poisons but if there is any doubt, contact your vet for advice.


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