With Easter approaching, a word of warning to cat owners: Easter lilies are toxic to your feline friend. (Tiger lilies and Asiatic hybrid lilies are as well.) Science Daily has the details:
"Cats can be poisoned by ingesting one or two leaves or flowers," said Wilson Rumbeiha, assistant professor of pathobiology and diagnostic investigation at Michigan State University.
Symptoms can start within 30 minutes of ingesting leaves or flowers, Rumbeiha said. The first symptom is depression, followed by vomiting, loss of appetite, and loss in body weight. Acute renal failure starts at about 48 hours post-ingestion.
"Easter lily poisoning is a problem of indoor cats and affects cats of either sex and all ages," he said.
From clinical experience, between 50 percent and 100 percent of cats poisoned by Easter lilies die from the poisoning, he said. This is because the toxin is not yet identified and there is no antidote.
Dogs are apparently unaffected by the unknown toxin present in Easter lilies.
Should your cat accidentally ingest either the flowers or leaves of an Easter, tiger or Asiatic hybrid lily, it's important to get him or her to the vet as soon as possible. Intravenous fluids and other supportive therapies have shown to be very effective treatment if given within six hours.
For a list of 17 common plants that are poisonous to pets (and other tips on poison prevention), check out the ASPCA's animal poison control center on the Web.
As Easter approaches, cat owners should watch out for Easter lilies | L.A. Unleashed | Los Angeles Times