What is Kudu Lily Poisoning?
The roots, stems, and flowers of the kudu lily contain cardiotoxic glycosides, toxins that can immediately cause gastrointestinal upset and affect the heart’s function. In fact, ancient tribes used to crush this plant into a paste, which they would dip their arrows into before hunting for large animals. Luckily, this plant has a strong and unpleasant taste, so cats are usually not drawn to it unless they’re bored or curious. Consuming even a small amount of this plant can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and irregular heart beat.
If left untreated, kudu lily poisoning will eventually cause heart failure and death, which is why it’s imperative to seek treatment from a veterinarian as soon as you recognize the symptoms.
The kudu lily plant, also known as the desert azalea, mock azalea, sabi star, and impala lily, is frequently used as a decorative plant in homes and gardens. Although it is known for its bright and beautiful flowers, pet owners should know this plant is incredibly toxic to cats.
Symptoms of Kudu Lily Poisoning in Cats
Pet owners should keep their pets away from the kudu lily plant at all times. However, if a cat does come into contact with this toxic plant, some of the symptoms he may immediately begin to exhibit include:
- Extreme abdominal pain
- Low body temperature
- Irregular heartbeat
Causes of Kudu Lily Poisoning in Cats
Kudu lily poisoning is caused by exposure to the kudu lily plant. Every part of the kudu lily plant contains cardiotoxic glycosides, which can cause heart failure and eventually death when consumed. Even if your cat only consumes a small amount of the kudu lily plant, he is at risk of suffering from serious, life-threatening health complications.
Diagnosis of Kudu Lily Poisoning in Cats
If you spot your cat chewing on or eating a kudu lily plant, or if you begin to notice any of the symptoms of kudu lily poisoning, immediately take him to a veterinarian. Describe the symptoms you have observed in as much detail as possible, and if you can, bring in a sample of the plant your cat consumed. If you did not witness your cat eating the plant, it may be helpful to bring in a sample of the vomit so the veterinarian can look for any regurgitated plant material.
There is no test that will confirm a diagnosis of kudu lily poisoning, so the vet may have to rely solely on the information you provide. The vet may also choose to examine the contents of your cat’s stomach to look for signs of irritants that could be causing the cat’s symptoms. He may be able to see undigested plant matter that will help him confidently make a diagnosis of kudu lily poisoning.There is no test that will confirm a diagnosis of kudu lily poisoning, so the vet may have to rely solely on the information you provide. The vet may also choose to examine the contents of your cat’s stomach to look for signs of irritants that could be causing the cat’s symptoms. He may be able to see undigested plant matter that will help him confidently make a diagnosis of kudu lily poisoning.
Treatment of Kudu Lily Poisoning in Cats
The symptoms of kudu lily poisoning will continue to get worse as time passes, so treatment will need to begin right away. The vet will need to induce vomiting to ensure all of the kudu lily plant has been removed from your cat’s stomach cavity. To do so, he will administer a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution orally. The vet will need to wear protective gear when performing this treatment because the vomit should be treated as a toxic substance. After the vomiting has subsided, the vet may also choose to perform a gastric lavage, which is the medical term for stomach wash. This will flush out any of the toxins that still remain in your cat’s stomach. Administering activated charcoal, which absorbs any remaining toxins before they absorb into the bloodstream, is another option.
The vet may also give your cat medication to prevent him from continuing to vomit. Sucralfate and Kapectolin are two popular medications designed to coat the lining of the stomach and prevent further irritation.
If your cat has lost a lot of fluid from vomiting, the vet will provide him with fluids intravenously to help him regain his strength.
Recovery of Kudu Lily Poisoning in Cats
Some cases of kudu lily poisoning are fatal. In general, the sooner you bring your cat in for treatment, the better his chances are of fully recovering.
Cats that are considered weak and dehydrated may remain in the vet’s office following treatment until their condition has been stabilized. Once your cat has been released to you, it’s important to prevent further exposure to the kudu lily plant. Remove this plant from your home or yard, and if you think neighbors have it in their gardens, keep your cat indoors as much as possible.
Talk to the vet about what kind of diet you should feed your cat over the next few days. His stomach may be sensitive because of the vomiting, so the vet will probably recommend you stick to soft, gentle foods that will not cause him any discomfort.