Making Valentine’s Day Safe for All…

Valentine’s Day is just a few days away and many are making special plans.  These may include dinner, a movie, flowers or chocolates.  Flowers! Chocolates!  If you plan to give or receive any of these, please make sure that they are out of the reach of your four-legged friends.

As we all know, chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats, but did you know that some flowers included in those beautiful bouquets can be deadly to you cat?  The biggest culprit is the lily.  Lilies are extremely toxic.  Every part of the plant, the stems, petals, leaves, and even the pollen are toxic.  If your cat jumps on a counter that has pollen from these flowers, steps on it and then ingests it while grooming, it could be a disaster.  What makes lilies poisonous is still unknown, but it is known that the toxin is soluble in water and deadly.  Cats that ingest this toxin will develop kidney failure.

The first signs usually develop 6 to 12 hours after ingestion. The first signs seen are lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, tremors, and even seizures. Kidney failure occurs as early as 36 to 72 hours after ingestion.  Increased blood levels of BUN, creatinine and potassium will be seen 18 to 24 hours after ingestion. Prompt veterinary care is essential. Cats treated 18 hours or longer after ingestion have a very poor prognosis and usually die.

So make this Valentine’s Day a safe one.  If your honey plans to bring you flowers, ask him to skip the lilies and to stick to the old standby…..roses.

In case of emergency, you may contact the Pet Poison Helpline @  1-800-213-6680 or give Dr. Flores @ Bearss Animal Clinic  a call @813-961-1222.


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