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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 18142
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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I'm concerned my cat may have lily poisoning and need some

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I'm concerned my cat may have lily poisoning and need some advice. My cat became ill last Tuesday (I unwittingly brought the bouquet home Monday evening not realising lillies were in it - they were a gift). She had watery / liquid diarrhea for 2-3 days and I put her on a chicken onl diet which she failed to eat so basically she fasted for 24hrs. I then resumed with her usual food and she went to toilet normally. However the diarrhea returned again this morning so I took her to the vet still not realising about the lillies. The vet prescribed a special diet along with a pro-biotic and a vitamin injection. On my return home I realised about the lillies and having read on the internet diarrhea is a symptom am extremely concerned especially given one of the stems and orange powder was on the floor although think this has dropped naturally rather than my cat pulling it off, I'm concerned she could have inhaled some of the orange powder or got it on her fur and licked it off. I spoke to my 24hr vet who advised it's extremely unlikely she'll have poisoning given she only has diarrhea as a sympton but I could take her in for treatment. I don't want to put her through the upheaval of being away from home plus the cost will obviously be high although I am insured... unless it's necessary but would value a second opinion. She is eating well, maybe a little clingy which is normal as I've only had her a couple of months from the shelter, she is also fairly playful. Sorry this is so long. I really appreciate your help. Thank you.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I understand that you are concerned about your girl given that she may have come into contact with lilies.In your timeline you mention that she became ill last Tuesday (Oct 6th?), showing watery diarrhea for a couple days. She never vomited correct? And her appetite has remained normal? No evidence of increased urine production?When her loose stools returned today she saw her veterinarian and was prescribed a special diet along with a probiotic and a vitamin injection. Has her appetite remained good the entire time? Has she ever vomited? While it is true that cats affected by toxins due to eating lilies may have diarrhea we would expect vomiting, and loss of appetite first. And we usually see signs of kidney damage 12-24 hours after exposure. These are sick, very lethargic kitties. In her case with no report of loss of appetite, no increase or decrease in urine production or water consumption it seems highly unlikely she is suffering from lily toxicity. Coming from a shelter it is much more likely that her stools are related to a parasite. Parasite eggs/cysts are shed intermittently, so infected animals may only have symptoms intermittently. I highly recommend testing several fresh stool samples, sending them out to the lab to look for more unusual parasites.It is also possible that she has a food sensitivity. While not completely impossible, the odds are very much against this being lily toxicity. If it were and her symptoms were related to kidney failure (which they should be this far out from a possible ingestion) she should be vomiting, lethargic and producing much more or much less urine than usual. And she isn't doing those things.Please let me know if you have any further questions.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Dr. Kara, thank you so very much for such a detailed and comprehensive answer, I really am so grateful and although still concerned hopeful that it is not lily poisoning.

She has had no loss in appetite and has even eaten her special diet food from the vet this evening which is encouraging given she is an exceptional fussy eater and only usually eats 'bad' food i.e. Sheba.

She is a sleepy cat and quite clingy but she has been pretty much like that since I've had her for the last 2 months so not unduly worried.

I have only just disposed of the lillies this evening but have disinfected where they were positioned and the vase so hoping no damage has been done.

I will definitely take a sample of her stools to the vet to test for any parasite issues and continue to keep a close eye on her given I have only got rid of the lillies today and she is still poorly.

I really cannot thank you enough, although still worried I am slightly more relieved and you have helped to settle my mind.

Thank you very much.

Of course you are worried because the lilies are horribly toxic and you feel guilty exposing her to them. With no evidence of any bites taken out or leaves missing I don't think she touched them.

But truly the cats I have seen with lily toxicity are very sick cats, they are vomiting, lethargic kitties and then 12- 24 hours later they begin to try to drink a tremendous amount of water.

She is very lucky to have landed in a home where she is so well loved. Please try not to worry, because I really don't think you have anything to be worried about. If you could give me an update in 48-72 hours that would be great.