What is Climbing Lily Poisoning?
Eating even a small piece of the flower, leaves, or pollen could make your cat ill. Symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive salivation, and frequent urination. Over time, the symptoms may worsen and you may start to notice blood in your cat’s vomit or feces and a lack of urination, which signals kidney damage.
If left untreated, climbing lily poisoning can eventually cause kidney failure and death, so it’s imperative you take your cat to a veterinarian as soon as you spot any of the symptoms of this condition.
Climbing lilies are beautiful flowers that are often used in bouquets around Easter and Mother’s Day, but it’s important for cat owners to realize these plants are toxic to cats. Unfortunately, many cat owners are unaware of the toxicity of climbing lilies so they keep these flowers around the house and in their gardens.
Symptoms of Climbing Lily Poisoning in Cats
Ingesting even a very small amount of the climbing lily can be dangerous for cats. Some of the symptoms you may observe after ingestion include:
- Presence of blood in the vomit
- Excessive salivation
- Presence of blood in the feces
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive urination, which will eventually become infrequent urination if left untreated
Causes of Climbing Lily Poisoning in Cats
Climbing lily poisoning is caused by exposure to the climbing lily flower, which is often used in bouquets made by florists. Cats can become sick after ingesting any part of the climbing lily, including leaves, flower petals, or the pollen. In fact, if the lily has been sitting in water, your cat can even become sick from drinking the water.
Diagnosis of Climbing Lily Poisoning in Cats
If your cat begins to exhibit signs of climbing lily poisoning, take him to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Talk to your vet about what symptoms you have observed, and what your cat may have been exposed to prior to the onset of the symptoms. If you can, bring in a sample of your cat’s vomit so the vet can identify pieces of lily.
If you aren’t sure what your cat ate, the vet may choose to examine the contents of his stomach to look for the problem. Once the vet spots pieces of a lily plant, he will be able to officially diagnose the condition. At this point, he may need to perform blood and urine tests to see how your cat’s kidneys are functioning. This is done because the toxin in lilies can affect the kidneys, so the vet will need to evaluate the severity of your cat’s condition.
Treatment of Climbing Lily Poisoning in Cats
Treatment will depend on when the lily plant was ingested. If you take your cat in immediately after seeing him chew on a lily and vomiting has not started yet, the vet will try to induce vomiting. Activated charcoal will be administered after vomiting has subsided to absorb any toxins that may remain in your cat’s system.
In other cases, the vet may perform a gastric lavage, which is the medical term for stomach washing. Fluids wash the stomach out to remove any pieces of the lily or toxins that may be left behind.
Some cases require more intense treatment. If the vet determines your cat’s kidneys have been severely affected by the poisoning, your cat may need dialysis, which is a process of clearing waste and unwanted water from the blood.
Regardless of the severity, many cats will need to receive IV for fluids to prevent dehydration from vomiting and diarrhea. The vet and his staff will need to constantly monitor the cat to ensure kidney functioning is not declining.
Recovery of Climbing Lily Poisoning in Cats
The sooner you take your cat to a veterinarian, the better his chances are of fully recovering. Most cats will make a full recovery with the proper treatment.
After treatment, the vet will probably ask to hospitalize your cat for one to two days so he can monitor his condition and continue to provide fluids. If your cat’s urination returns to normal after treatment, indicates that treatment was successful and the kidneys are not damaged.
Remove any decorative lilies you have inside or outside of your home. To be safe, it’s best to keep cats indoors so they are not exposed to lilies in a neighbor’s yard. Keep your cat calm and comfortable as he recovers and regains his strength from the treatment. You may want to ask your vet whether you should change his diet for the next few days. The vet will most likely recommend soft foods that won’t upset his stomach and plenty of water.