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The Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS)* have received approximately 2,175 enquiries to date relating to poisoning resulting from the ingestion of a household plant – Lilies – the 7th most common poisoning reported to them.
Lilies come in many varieties and are readily available – often forming part of bouquets and can also be grown in the garden. Lilies, however beautiful, are extremely poisonous to cats and cause the onset of kidney failure. As with grapes, sultanas and raisins (discussed in part 3), the toxic mechanism involved is not currently understood, but it is thought that all parts of the plant are poisonous to cats and even a small exposure to the orange/yellow pollen can be harmful to your cat.
There are other varieties of plants that pose a risk. There are mixed opinions, for example, on whether the popular Christmas plant with red foliage – Poinsettia – is poisonous / toxic. Err on the side of caution and always check the labels when purchasing plants – as responsible suppliers will ensure these contain any warnings.
* The Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS) is an internationally renowned poisons information service which provides the veterinary profession with 24 hour support and advice on the diagnosis and management of poisoned animals. They advise on approximately 25,000 cases in total per year. For more information about the VPIS please click here to visit the VPIS website. If you suspect your pet may have been poisoned, come into contact with any kind of toxin or otherwise appears unwell please contact your Vet in the first instance.
COMING UP IN PART 5: We take a look at Number 6 on the VPIS’s common poisons list – Metaldehyde (slug pellets).