Cub is a gorgeous 11 week old domestic short haired cat who was brought into Fitzroy Veterinary Hospital because he had eaten part of a Lily flower. The owner had returned home to find the lilies on the floor along with some vomit containing the plant and undigested food. The ingestion of plants or flowers of the Liliaceae family can cause severe, irreversible kidney failure and death in cats within 3 to 7 days of exposure. The toxic substance in lilies that causes damage to the kidneys has not been identified but ALL parts of the lily are poisonous - flower, stamen, stem, leaves and roots. The toxic dose is unknown, however a very small amount of plant material can be toxic. Interestingly, dogs are not affected in the same way. They can consume large amounts of the plant and only develop mild gastrointestinal signs while rats and rabbits show no signs of toxicity at all. The first signs of toxicity are vomiting, depression and loss of appetite. The onset is usually within 2 hours, however acute renal failure will develop within 24 to 72 hour at which time the cat will become critically ill. At this time the patient may drink much more than usual or become extremely dehydrated. Read more about lily toxicity here
Cub was admitted to hospital for intravenous fluid therapy and observation and the veterinarian checked Cub's kidney function by taking blood and urine samples. Cub tolerated his fluid therapy like a star and loved lots of cuddles from the nurses. After 27 hours of intravenous fluid therapy and his blood and urine results came back normal he was able to go home. Repeat blood tests were recommended 4 days later to monitor the kidneys and check any onset of damage.