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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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Let’s get Active!

I am sure you all know that it's important to make sure our furry friends stay active. However, once winter time hits well that is simply more difficult with the snow and storms that come around. So then how do we keep our friends active in winter as we would in spring/summer? Why is physical activity & mental stimulation so important for animals? Well simply put, as humans do, if they are stuck inside, they will get bored which then can make them become destructive and have other negative behaviors. Cats Cats may not always be outside walking like dogs, but you may still notice with the change in weather maybe they are slowing down and not exercising like they should? Here are some helpful ways to encourage them to exercise. Set up a game of hide and seek and hide toys or treats for them to find. Bring in something new from outside like a stick to mentally stimulate them and work out their brain. The new smells and textures can be very enriching for them. Winter is the perfect time for box forts for our kitty friends. If you have spare time made them a kitty castle or kitty boat whatever your imagination can think of! And of course, everyone likes a little stimulation from Tv. Put on something on the tv or a tablet and let them watch it but be careful they do not knock over your TV. Dogs Our dog friends love to be outside! This is great when the weather is cooperating but on those days that it just makes no sense to go outside or is unsafe to so you can try these helpful exercising tips. Let them walk/run on a treadmill. Now as great as this is for exercise you also need to be careful. Desensitize them to the treadmill first, and start slowly. It can be dangerous if not done properly. If your furry friend likes car rides, go on a trip together even just a short one. Let them enjoy the different sights and smells. Winter is perfect time to learn new tricks! This is the time to teach them that special trick you have wanted to for a while. Set up an obstacle course in your house for them to try and get through. Written by: Ashley G, VT    

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Last updated: June 9, 2022.

Dear Clients,

Masks are now optional for both staff and clients at our hospital. Please respect everyone's comfort level. Here is what you can expect:

For appointments:
  • There are no longer any capacity limits on our exam rooms or reception area
  • Masks are optional for both team members and clients.
  • For food / medication / retail:
  • It is best to call your order in ahead of time so the team can get it ready for you. Please allow 24 - 48 hours for medication refills
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    - Your dedicated team at Companion Animal Hospital