Wed, Jun 6 2012
This morning I spoke to Eric & Clare on BBC Radio Shropshire about a case I saw in the last few weeks. It was a very sad case about a lovely cat called Martha, much loved by her owner. Her owner received some flowers and placed them in a vase at home. Martha, being a normal inquisitive cat was exploring this new addition to her environment and ended up with bright red pollen on her fur. Later the same day she was not her normal happy self and her owner wanted to check whether it was anything to do with the pollen she saw on Martha that morning. Her owner searched on the internet 'Cats & Lilies' and was horrified to read that they can be fatal to cats.
Within minutes she was at our practice and starting treatment. Lilies are extremely toxic to cats. Nobody is quite sure what the toxin is or why cats are so sensitive to it. All parts of the plant appear to be toxic and pollen is one of the commonest ways for cats to ingest the plant as they are fastidious groomers. The toxin attacks the kidneys and causes severe damage. Treatment is rarely successful and despite hourly injections throughout the night we couldn't restore her kidney function and at 4 o'clock in the morning I had to call her owner and advise that we put her to sleep as she was deteriorating badly. Her owner was understandably distraught and was blaming herself for not knowing about lilies but despite the best efforts of cat charities and vet practices it isn't that well known. Something this toxic to pets should come with a warning on it, it makes sense doesn't it?
What we would really like is for florists to have a little reminder on every bouquet containing lilies that shows they are toxic to cats. In the meantime Martha's owner is keen to get the message out there to cat owners about the danger of lilies to cats and has set up a Facebook page dedicated to Martha's memory and spreading the message to help prevent any further fatalities. Please click on the link to visit the site and let all your cat owning friends about it: MARTHA'S MESSAGE
Bruce is also a big fan of this campaign and would very much like you to check it out. He will stare at you in a slightly menacing way until you click on the link.