We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.

Dangerous Spring Plants: Easter Lillies and Your Cats

Spring is finally here! Birds are singing, the snow is (finally!) melting, and beautiful spring plants are available in many stores and centres.

With Easter around the corner, one of these popular plants is the Easter Lily, also known as Lilium longiflorum. This common plant, along with other members of the true lily family (Liliaceae), are deadly toxic to cats.

What happens when my pet eats this plant?
It doesn’t take much of these plants to cause a lot of damage. Even just a few leaves can cause a severe toxicity (PetMD 2017). While the immediate signs of ingestion can include vomiting, hypersalivation (drooling), and a loss of appetite, the true damage to your cat’s kidneys will occur over the next 24-72 hours. This kidney damage will result in an increased urine output over the first 1-2 days, followed by a lack of urine production after that.

What is the treatment for lily ingestion?
Quick treatment is critical to save your cat’s life. Your pet’s doctor will recommend hospitalization for fluid therapy (intravenous fluids via a catheter). Some patients will benefit from oral activated charcoal, depending on how long ago the ingestion occurred. Bloodwork and urine tests will help determine how much kidney damage has occurred.

I think my cat ate a toxic plant, what do I do?
Call our hospital at (902) 434-3111 for further instructions. Outside of our regular office hours, contact Metro Animal Emergency Clinic at (902) 468-0674. It is unlikely that we will instruct you to induce vomiting, since this can be dangerous to do at home with a feline patient. Take a photo of the plant with your smartphone, or bring the plant with you so that we can confirm the plant’s identification.

The sooner your cat receives medical attention, the better his or her chances for survival.

What about other lilies?
All members of the true lily family, Liliaceae, are extremely toxic to cats. There are many species and hybrids available, but any lily with the scientific name starting in Lilium or Hemerocallis are in this family.

There are some other common houseplants that are called lilies, but do not belong to the family of true lilies. Some of these plants include the Calla Lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica) and Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum sp.) that belong to the arum family, Araceae, and do not cause kidney damage. These plants can still cause severe gastrointestinal distress, however.

Because true lilies can cause such severe, life-threatening disease with a very small amount eaten, we do not recommend keeping these plants in a home with cats.

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Halloween Hazards for Pets

We love Halloween! From the cool and creative costumes, trick-or-treating, parties, and (let's be honest) the candy, Halloween can be a fun time for everyone. But, there are many hazards that our pets face during these fall festivities.

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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

The following changes took effect Thursday, March 19, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a “closed waiting room” policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 902.434.3111. We will meet you at the door and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. We will take a history of your pet over the phone. Once the examination is finished, the veterinarian will call you to discuss treatment etc for your pet. For those who do not have a cell phone, an easy knock at the door will work the same way!

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive appointments and surgeries. All other services will be scheduled for a later time.

3. The animal hospital is still OPEN with the following NEW hours as of Sunday, March 29, 2020 :
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 7:30 am - 6:00 pm
Tuesday and Thursday: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Saturday: 8:30 am - 2:00 pm
Sunday: CLOSED.

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will take payment over the phone and bring your order to the door. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.

5. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.

6. Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at Companion Animal Hospital