Stargazer lilies are toxic to cats. If consumed, every component of the plant, including the vase’s water, is deadly, and even a small amount can be lethal. It’s thought that when cats eat lilies, their bodies produce a poisonous chemical that causes serious kidney damage. Cats are the only animals that can be killed by lily poisoning.
What is Stargazer Lily?
The Stargazer lily (Lilium ‘Stargazer’) is an ‘Oriental group’ hybrid lily. Oriental lilies bloom from mid-to-late summer and are recognized for their sweet fragrance. Stargazers are simple plants to grow and thrive in direct sunlight. They thrive in full sun and well-drained loamy or sandy soil. ‘Stargazers’ can reach a height of 36 inches, a spread of 10 to 14 inches, and 2 to 8 flowers per stem when fully mature. There are three main varieties of stargazer lilies that can grow in containers or in the garden; pink, white, and golden stargazer.
Clinical Signs of Stargazer Lily Poisoning in Cats
If you have a lily bouquet or grow lilies in your garden, be on the lookout for signs that your cat has licked or eaten the plant, such as sudden lethargy or vomiting. If this happens, check for evident bite marks or other signs that your cat has eaten any of the lily’s petals or leaves. The first signs of lily poisoning in a cat might appear as soon as two hours after exposure. Here are the symptoms:
You may notice lethargy (low energy), a loss of appetite, and vomiting at first. Tremors and seizures may develop as the illness worsens. If left untreated, prolonged exposure to this toxin will result in dehydration, renal failure, and death.
First Aid and Treatment of Stargazer Lily Poisoning in Cats
First, wash your cat’s face with warm water to eliminate any pollen. Second, take your cat and the flower to your primary care veterinarian or a local veterinary emergency center for further decontamination via vomiting and activated charcoal administration. Treatment focuses on protecting and monitoring the kidneys over the 48-72 hour period it takes to eliminate the toxin from the body once decontamination is completed. As a result, hospitalization is strongly recommended for vigorous IV fluid therapy as well as urine testing and serial blood work to evaluate kidney function.
Recovery from Stargazer Lily Poisoning in Cats
In the end, the prognosis for your cat is determined by the amount of lily consumed, the cat’s overall health, and the period since the lily ingestion. In general, the prognosis is dismal if more than 18 hours pass without therapy. However, if treated promptly, many cats will recover.
Prevention of Stargazer Lily Poisoning in Cats
Keeping this plant out of your house and yard is the greatest way to keep your cat safe. Remember to leave the lilies out of your floral purchases or delivery orders. It’s a good idea to tell florists not to use lilies from the Lilium genus, such as stargazer, Asiatic, Oriental, or tiger lilies. Giving florists the flower species’ scientific name can help them avoid confusion.
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