Keep cats away from Easter lilies

March 30, 2013 at 11:20 PM
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CHICAGO, March 30 (UPI) -- The veterinarians at Chicago Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center remind pet owners that Easter lilies, indeed all lilies, can be deadly for cats.

"Each year, cats that have ingested some part of a lily plant are brought into our emergency room. Sometimes, the pet cannot be saved," Dr. Jerry Klein, supervising veterinarian of Chicago Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center, said in a statement. "Without treatment, the cat will suffer from renal failure and die. Treatment generally requires hospitalization."

Virtually all lilies are toxic to cats including common lily plants such as Asiatic, day, Easter, stargazer and tiger lilies. All parts of the lily are poisonous to cats including the flower, leaves and pollen. A cat can even be poisoned by drinking water from a vase that held lilies, Klein said.

Cats that ingest any part of a lily may develop acute renal failure and die within days. Although there is no antidote, prompt treatment within 18 hours of ingestion can help save the cat, Klein said.

"As we approach Easter, we encourage cat owners not to allow lilies in their home," Klein said. "And, if there are outdoor cats in your neighborhood, please don't plant lilies in your yard."

Some types of lily and other springtime plants can also present a danger to dogs including azaleas, calla lily, lily-of-the-valley and peace lily to name a few. Some of these plants are also toxic to cats, Klein said.

Keep Easter chocolate away from dogs. It can be poisonous to dogs -- the darker the chocolate, the greater the danger -- Klein said.

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