Lilies and Cats ?!?
From the Yahoo Lilium list; have those of you who grow both heard of
Subject: Re: [Lilium] poisoning
Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 09:22:53 -0400
From: arnold trachtenberg <Arnold@nj.rr.com>
at owners warned over killer flowers
By David Sapsted
A national alert has been issued to pet owners after pollen from a bunch
of supermarket flowers killed a cat.
When John Hartnett bought his wife oriental stargazer lilies, he was
unaware that he was passing a death sentence on the family's 13-year-old
The cat brushed against the flowers then licked the pollen from its fur.
Within minutes she started being sick and, within hours, had died after
going blind, suffering renal failure and becoming virtually paralysed.
The RSPCA, which is reporting an increase in such cases, is to launch a
campaign to alert people to the dangers and lobby for warnings on the
The RSPCA said: "The problem of lilies isn't widely known and we are
seeing an increase in the number of cases we come across. This is
because the flowers are becoming more readily available in Britain.
"All lilies are poisonous to cats, with just one leaf eaten possibly
leading to death. We will now be urging both manufacturers and producers
to issue warnings on their goods so that consumers have an informed choice.
"We also hope to work with the Royal College for Veterinary Surgeons'
poison department to produce information fact sheets and figures on this
Mr Hartnett, 51, a computer engineer from Folkestone, Kent, said:
"Catalina was a curious, fastidious animal and would have investigated
the new flowers. But this proved absolutely fatal.
"She endured a vile death. She was suffering terribly. I blame myself
but the vet we rushed her to said there was just no chance to save her.
"We have seen the flowers in many places, all with no warnings at all.
In America, I have discovered that there is immense coverage on this
subject warning people of the dangers but, here, there is nothing.
"I can't believe something so simple as a flower can kill pets in such a
terrible, terrible way, and there is absolutely no way of knowing about it."
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals singles
out the Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum), tiger lily (Lilium tigrinum),
rubrum lily (Lilium speciosum), Japanese show lily (Lilium lancifolium)
and some species of the day lily (Hemerocallis) as liable to cause
kidney failure in cats.
The Feline Advisory Bureau, a charity based in Tisbury, Wilts, said:
"Symptoms of poisoning from these plants include protracted vomiting,
anorexia and depression and ingestion can cause severe, possibly fatal,
Cats can survive if taken to a vet within six hours but the chances of
survival decrease rapidly after that. After 18 hours, the kidneys stop
Alex Campbell, a toxicologist and managing director of the Poison
Advisory Service for vets, said: "When we recieve a call about cats
coming into contact with any of the lilium flower family we treat it
very seriously indeed. It is one of the worst reactions an animal can
come across and it needs highly aggressive management. All parts of a
lily are extremely toxic.
"A cat that comes into contact with a lily deteriorates very rapidly. I
have even heard of a cat being given human dialysis in an attempt to
overcome the effects of toxins in the kidneys."
The danger to cats only began to emerge in 1990 when the first incident
was reported in America. Last year, the poison control centre at the
ASPCA handled 275 cases.
John Cushnie, a panellist on Gardeners' Question Time, advised gardeners
who wanted to avoid harm to cats to select tall lilies and stake those
that need support.
Vienna, Virginia USA
38.9 N 77.2 W
USDA Zone 7
Max. 105 F [40 C], Min. 5 F [-15 C]
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