Cat Ate Tiger Lilys

QUESTION:

My cat is just over a year old. He ate a small piece of Tiger Lily. We rushed him to the veterinary emergency room, but were unable to afford the treatment he needed.

My cat has been using his litter like normal and we've been giving him a pill the veterinarian gave us to protect his stomach.

He was doing fine and being himself until today he starting throwing up again. Is this a sign of feline kidney failure or possibly a reaction from the medication? I can't afford to take him back to the veterinarian and hospitalize him.

ANSWER:

I am very sorry to hear what you are going through with your kitty.

You do not mention the number of days it has been since your cat ate the lily. I hope it has been awhile and the vomiting is unrelated, but it is possible that your cat’s kidneys are failing from the toxicity of the tiger lilies. Kidney values begin to elevate within 12 hours after a cat has ingested such a toxic plant. Within 3 to 6 days, the cat can be in severe kidney failure.

Unfortunately, treatment for ingestion of toxins by cats is very time-sensitive. Your veterinarian likely would have induced vomiting and administered fluids through an IV to combat dehydration and shock in your cat. This treatment is usually most successful within 18 hours of ingestion.

At this point, it is impossible for me to say what is going on. It would be best for you to phone the veterinarian that saw your kitty. It may still be possible to treat the symptoms of cat kidney failure with medications and fluid therapy, thus prolonging your kitty’s life and giving you some more time with him.

However, both of these would need to be done under the care of a veterinarian. You may want to look into a program such as Care Credit, which allows you to pay off medical, dental, and veterinary expenses at low or no interest over time.

And for the future, you may also want to consider pet insurance. There are many plans available today, including routine veterinary coverage and/or those that would cover expenses due to sudden feline illnesses like you are experiencing now.

I am really concerned and hope that everything turns out ok for you and your precious kitty,

Wishing you all the best,
Dr. Neely

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