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Author Topic: All cat owners should know this
Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted May 08, 2005 02:48      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This story appeared in the Daily Telegraph on Friday

quote:

Cat owners warned over killer flowers
By David Sapsted
(Filed: 06/05/2005)

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 Siamese, Catalina.

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 flowers.

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 awful matter."

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, kidney damage."

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 working.

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.

I have to say that prior to reading this I was unaware of the deadly nature of these beautiful flowers. The Telegraph has a site, but it requires registration and I felt it was important this story is known.

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"Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon" - Milton

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nerdwithnofriends
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Icon 1 posted May 08, 2005 16:17      Profile for nerdwithnofriends     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
hmmm... i've finally found a clever way to get rid of my sister's cat in a clever way...

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"The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower." - Robert M. Pirsig

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Aditu
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Icon 1 posted May 08, 2005 18:32      Profile for Aditu     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
How terrible. Actually I see them in the stores here and I don't see any warning. So we aren't ahead of the UK there really. I know you can't have poinsettas in the house with a cat.
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Jessycat

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Icon 1 posted May 08, 2005 23:09      Profile for Jessycat     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks for posting that, Callipygous.
I had no idea!

What a terrible story... [Frown]

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jordanv
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Icon 1 posted May 09, 2005 00:16      Profile for jordanv     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hey Jessycat: stay away from lillies.
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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted May 09, 2005 06:23      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm moderately sure flowers are what killed one of my ex-gf's cats. Her cat got horribly sick one Christmas after being near the flowers. Her liver shut down.

No warnings on the flowers of any kind, but at the same time, I'm pretty sure they were purchased directly from a florist, so the florist should have probably asked first before assembling the bouquet.

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted May 09, 2005 06:30      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There is a more complete list of plants poisonous to cats here, but I don't think one should get too neurotic. Most of the time cats are pretty smart about not eating stuff that is bad for them, and in many instances the plants won't do more than cause a mild gastric upset. Lilies however are different, particularly because the flowers drop a lot of pollen, so a cat only has to brush by a stem and then sit down to clean itself, to be facing mortal danger.

And nice to see you around here again Jessycat [Smile]

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"Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon" - Milton

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TechToys
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Icon 10 posted May 09, 2005 07:43      Profile for TechToys   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Gosh, I guess I will never have to buy my wife flowers again!

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Icon 1 posted May 09, 2005 08:12            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Important safety tip! Thanks, Callipygous!

I wonder if there's any issue with garlic? Garlic, of course, is related to lilies, and yet Star has eaten some with no known ill effects. (She seems to like garlic, too...)

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Doco

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Icon 1 posted May 09, 2005 11:23      Profile for Doco   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Interesting safety note. We've repeatedly had Easter lilly's and various lilly's in the garden where the cats roam and never had any issues that I know of. Then again - as he said - cats (and most animals) are usually pretty smart about not eating stuff that makes them sick.

The only thing that makes me bristle is the statement in the original article that such flowers should have warning stickers on them. We already have to many warning labels because of that mentality. It just causes things that really need warnings to be direguarded. Just like some applications that always pop-up a little confirm box - people get so used to them that they always hit OK. Then the really bad thing happens and they don't know why they weren't warned. Well - they were, but they ignored the warning because they were so conditioned by the thousands of previous warnings that really shouldn't have been warnings.

Yes - cat owners - be careful. But that doesn't need a warning sticker on every lilly sold in a flower shop.

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Icon 1 posted May 09, 2005 11:48      Profile for TMBWITW,PB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The other problem with warning stickers is how many might be required. Which plants are poisonous to humans, but not cats, or dogs, but not iguanas, or may cause stomach upset if one leaf is eaten but will kill you if you eat the flower?

Many people keep poisonous plants in or around their house just because of how they look. (People with pets and kids, get rid of any oleader bushes.) Flowers are pretty and that's why people buy them. It takes a lot of work to figure out what is poisonous to whom and how much it takes to do harm. You know, a lot of people are given plants as gifts and don't even know what they are? So your kid eats a leaf and you panic, and the emergency room can't do anything for hours while a leaf gets passed around and people are doing internet searches to try to figure out if they need to worry or not.

The real lesson here is to know what you have in and around your house and what effect they may have on your pets and kids. No one said taking care of animals was easy.

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Black Widow
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Icon 1 posted May 09, 2005 14:53      Profile for Black Widow     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Peebs is right here. A good example is spider plants, which are highly toxic to cats, but completely edible by iguanas. The only other rule I remember is to never feed onions to your dogs because it can cause a fatal form of anemia.
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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted May 09, 2005 15:12      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
And rhubarb leaves should only be eaten by mothers-in-law [Wink]

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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Serenak

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Icon 1 posted May 09, 2005 15:18      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You shouldn't give dogs chocolate either IIRC...

Never knew spider plants were harmful to cats (though as has been said cats tend to know what NOT to eat...)

I thought garlic was related to the onion family... are they all related to lillies then? Botany is not my strong point, nor am I at all green fingered (I can kill weeds me...)

I do know that the fruit of the potato plant is poisonous and that you shouldn't eat green potato peel either...

[Big Grin]

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted May 09, 2005 18:19      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Serenak:
You shouldn't give dogs chocolate either IIRC...

In small quantities, it won't kill them. Basically, I think the ratio of pure milk chocolate to dog weight is 1 oz of chocolate for every pound of dog.

Translation: 20lb dog is going to need over 1 pound of solid milk chocolate to kill it.

I've known tonnes of people who've shared their chocolate bars with their dogs. No ill effects. Maybe some runny poop...

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TMBWITW,PB

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Icon 1 posted May 09, 2005 19:03      Profile for TMBWITW,PB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My uncle used to feed his dog chocolate to stink up the house with his farts. [crazy]

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"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye."
—Miss Piggy

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snupy
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Icon 1 posted May 09, 2005 19:28      Profile for snupy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by nerdwithnofriends:
hmmm... i've finally found a clever way to get rid of my sister's cat in a clever way...

It's a wonder you have no friends. [Roll Eyes]

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maia
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Icon 1 posted May 09, 2005 19:39      Profile for maia     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My neighbor just gave me a box of these for my dog:
 -

They look like oreo cookies, but they are made with carob instead of chocolate and peanut butter in the middle. My dog LOVES them.

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Doco

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Icon 1 posted May 10, 2005 05:40      Profile for Doco   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Spider plant poison to a cat??? Could have fooled me. My cats can't reach ours unless a baby spider gets too close to the floor (in which case it gets devoured) My parents however rotate different spider plants around and their two cats chew on them regularly. That and what my mom calls asparagus fern. Now the cats are all a little "goofy" at times - but I don't think it's from those plants. I also don't see Spider plants listed on the CFA website linked above

Hmmmm - I do see asparagus fern - maybe I should tell my mom.....

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted May 10, 2005 12:06      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by drunkennewfiemidget:
Translation: 20lb dog is going to need over 1 pound of solid milk chocolate to kill it.

I've known tonnes of people who've shared their chocolate bars with their dogs. No ill effects. Maybe some runny poop...

Yeah, it's more of an issue if your dog is still a puppy. Not only are puppies into everything, but they're also small.

They say azaleas are also toxic to dogs. This made me very anxious because we had azalea bushes and a labrador retriever in the same yard, but, even when he was a puppy, I never caught my dog in the azaleas nor did the azaleas ever look like the dog showed them any interest. Now grass, OTOH, he would occasionally munch on. He'd also roll in poison ivy, and then I'd give him a hug, and the oil would get on me, and my mom would wonder how I could be getting poison ivy when I knew damn well what the plant looked like. *sigh*

In spite of that, I really miss that dog.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted May 10, 2005 14:07      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, apparently eating fibreglass insulation is bad for dogs. At least that's what the vet said when I called, she had me bring the druidhound over straight away and we had to induce vomiting to get the stuff out again.

Inducing vomiting in a border collie full of fibreglass is surprisingly difficult.

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted May 11, 2005 04:54      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
quote:
Originally posted by drunkennewfiemidget:
Translation: 20lb dog is going to need over 1 pound of solid milk chocolate to kill it.

I've known tonnes of people who've shared their chocolate bars with their dogs. No ill effects. Maybe some runny poop...

Yeah, it's more of an issue if your dog is still a puppy. Not only are puppies into everything, but they're also small.

They say azaleas are also toxic to dogs. This made me very anxious because we had azalea bushes and a labrador retriever in the same yard, but, even when he was a puppy, I never caught my dog in the azaleas nor did the azaleas ever look like the dog showed them any interest. Now grass, OTOH, he would occasionally munch on. He'd also roll in poison ivy, and then I'd give him a hug, and the oil would get on me, and my mom would wonder how I could be getting poison ivy when I knew damn well what the plant looked like. *sigh*

In spite of that, I really miss that dog.

They say when a dog munches grass, it's because they have a tummy ache or upset stomach. I don't know if that's a wive's tale or not.

As for poison ivy, I'm one of those lucky buggers who are immune to it. I can roll in it for days and I won't get a single rash.

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neotatsu
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Icon 1 posted May 13, 2005 02:38      Profile for neotatsu     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Serenak:
You shouldn't give dogs chocolate either IIRC...

I was under the impression it had most to do with the caffiene...

In any case, when I was little my 17lb terrier/wolf mix ate 3.5lbs of dark chocolate covered expresso beans... He was kinda twitchy for a while (Actually, the 'coffee guy' on MadTV reminds me of it, if anyone knows the reference...), but, he pulled through ok... He was never too enthusiastic about chocolate afterward though... go figure...

Just like my other dog would go into siezures and stalk the christmas tree lights after the second year we had her... me being particularly short while putting the candy canes on the christmas tree... She'd still sneak any of them that she could though... (of course, when she finally died this year, my parents had let her grow to almost three times the normal body weight of a dauchsand...)

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Stibbons
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Icon 1 posted May 13, 2005 05:58      Profile for Stibbons   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by neotatsu:
quote:
Originally posted by Serenak:
You shouldn't give dogs chocolate either IIRC...

I was under the impression it had most to do with the caffiene...

There is no caffiene in chocolate. There is a similar drug, theobromine, in chocolate (both are methylxanthines) which is poisonous to dogs.
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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted May 13, 2005 08:02      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Stibbons:
quote:
Originally posted by neotatsu:
quote:
Originally posted by Serenak:
You shouldn't give dogs chocolate either IIRC...

I was under the impression it had most to do with the caffiene...

There is no caffiene in chocolate. There is a similar drug, theobromine, in chocolate (both are methylxanthines) which is poisonous to dogs.
You mean methyllabmousies!
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