The ASPCA Animal
Poison Control Center is leading a nationwide campaign
to warn cat owners and veterinarians about the dangers
of Easter lilies and other variations in the lily family.
"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 species) can cause kidney failure in cats,"
says Dr. Sharon Gwaltney-Brant, Veterinary Toxicologist
at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.
"Unfortunately, all parts of the lily plant are considered
toxic to cats and consuming even small amounts can be
life threatening." Within only a few hours of ingestion of
the lily plant material a cat may vomit, become lethargic
or develop a lack of appetite. These signs continue and
worsen as kidney damage progresses. Without prompt
and proper treatment by a veterinarian, the cat may
develop kidney failure in approximately 36-72 hours. Cat
owners should remove lilies from their cat's access and
are encouraged to consider safer alternatives to Easter
lilies such as Easter orchids, Easter lily cactus, Easter
daisy or violets.
The Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) has partnered with
the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center to help raise
awareness to cat owners across the country about the
dangers of toxic plants as well as offering safe
alternatives. According to Michael W. Brim, Public
Relations and Marketing Director for the Cat Fanciers'
Association, "Part of being a responsible pet owner is to
educate yourself on the many different health issues
facing your pet. Removing dangerous plants from your
cat's home is an important part in having safer, healthier
and happier pets."
To help educate cat owners and veterinarians about the
dangers of lilies and other plants, the ASPCA Animal
Poison Control Center and CFA have developed online
materials including photos of common types of
dangerous lilies and a list of non-toxic plants. To
download the materials, visit www.apcc.aspca.org or
The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is the only animal
poison control center in North America. Established in 1978,
the Center is the only facility of its kind staffed by
twenty-five veterinarians including five board-certified
veterinary toxicologists and ten certified veterinary
technicians. Located in Urbana, Illinois, the specially trained
staff provides assistance to pet owners and specific
diagnostic and treatment recommendation to veterinarians
pertaining to toxic chemicals and dangerous plants,
products or substances 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In
2001, the Center handled over 65,000 cases. The Center
also provides extensive veterinary toxicology expert
consulting on a wide array of subjects includes legal cases,
formulation issues, product liability, and regulatory
reporting. To reach the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center
call (888) 426-4435. For more information on the ASPCA
Animal Poison Control Center visit www.apcc.aspca.org.
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