What is Orange Daylily Poisoning?
If your feline has ingested the stem, leaf, petal or pollen of the orange daylily, the toxic effects will develop within minutes after ingestion. The feline may begin to vomit and appear overall very weak, as the body tries to rid itself of the potent element. As the toxin is absorbed into the bloodstream, it settles in the kidneys, damaging the kidneys and gradually progressing to kidney failure within 36 to 72 hours. If you see your cat eating an orange daylily, contact a veterinary professional immediately. Your cat’s prognosis depends on prompt emergency care and if treatment is received within six hours of consumption, your cat’s chances of survival are generally good.
The orange daylily, or Hemerocallis graminea, is a member of the Liliaceae family and can be found nationwide. This vigorous, orange flower is notorious for blooming roadside in North America in the early to mid-summer months of the year. The orange daylily can be identified by its bright, orange blossoms and tall, naked stems with long, sword like leaves on either side. All portions of the orange daylily are poisonous to felines and even consuming the smallest amounts of the plant can cause severe toxicity. Kittens are the most commonly seen group of felines to be affected, as they explore the world around them, but cats of all ages can be affected.
Symptoms of Orange Daylily Poisoning in Cats
If your cat has ingested any part of an Orange Day Lily plant, including the stem, leaves, petals or pollen, he or she will display the following signs of poisoning:
- Kidney failure
Causes of Orange Daylily Poisoning in Cats
The exact toxic principles of the orange daylily are unknown. It is also unknown why felines are the only known species to exhibit toxicity against this species of daylily, as canines and horses are unaffected.
A feline can be poisoned by an orange daylily by consuming any part of the plant including the stem, leaves, petals and pollen. Chewing, licking or consuming the plant directly is one way a cat can become poisoned, but it is more common for the feline to be affected indirectly by the pollen. Orange daylilies that surround the cat owner’s home can admit pollen into the air and attach to the feline’s fur. When the feline grooms itself, the pollen attaches to his or her tongue and is ingested, posing a high risk for toxicity.
Diagnosis of Orange Daylily Poisoning in Cats
The only true way to diagnose orange daylily poisoning in cats is to see the cat consume the plant, however, this is usually not a possibility. Therefore, your veterinarian will perform a differential diagnosis to rule out other possibilities for why the feline is exhibiting the associated symptoms. The diagnostic process will begin with a physical examination, review of the feline’s medical history and a consultation with the pet owner. Following routine diagnostic procedure, the veterinarian will want to conduct a series of diagnostic tests that may include:
- CBC (complete blood cell count)
- Biochemical profile (blood work)
- Blood smear test
- Urinalysis (examination of urine)
- Fecal floatation test
- Fecal examination
- Abdominal ultrasound and/or x-ray
Treatment of Orange Daylily Poisoning in Cats
Although there is no known antidote to counteract orange daylily poisoning, immediate veterinary care can save the feline’s life. The key to a positive prognosis is receiving treatment prior to kidney organ shutdown, therefore, if you see your cat chewing on an orange daylily, seek medical care immediately. Make sure to take the lily with you to the veterinary appointment to help diagnose the condition quickly. The veterinarian may administer medication to induce vomiting or give the feline an activated charcoal solution to bind with the toxic plant chemical, to later be passed from the body with feces.
To further eliminate the orange daylily toxin, the veterinarian will likely start your cat on fluids given intravenously to replenish lost fluids and aid in the elimination of the toxin. As the fluids pass through the urinary system, they go through the kidneys first and carry the present toxins with them to be eliminated in the urinary waste. Aggressive fluid therapy must be started within a six-hour window for a positive prognosis.
Recovery of Orange Daylily Poisoning in Cats
Your cat’s prognosis depends on prompt emergency care and if treatment is received within six hours of consumption, your cat’s chances of survival are generally good.