Thursday, December 22, 2011

Deadly but beautiful lilies

I received a phone call today from a concerned owner. Her cats have been with her for three years now and have never bothered her lily plants. Today though, a leaf was on the floor with multiple tooth marks. Neither of her cats fessed up to who had been the culprit.

The scary part about lilies (ie Stargazer lily, Easter lily, Tiger lily and Asiatic hybrid lily and daylily [not a true lily]) is their ability to cause nephrotoxicity in cats. Basically the cats develop acute renal failure and if not treated have a 50-100% chance of dying! If we can treat them by making them vomit if pieces of the lily have been eaten, administering activated charcoal and started diuresis (IV fluids at two times maintenance) before hitting the 18 hour mark after eating the lily, they generally have an excellent prognosis.

All parts of these beautiful flowers are toxic. This includes the pollen. So, minor exposure such as a small amount of pollen getting on their coat or whiskers can have deadly consequences.

An excellent source of information on lilies and cats is at website started by two veterinarians. The name is (I apologize for not being able to make the link work cause it is a very well done website.)

Friday, December 9, 2011


I have learned to expect the unexpected when doing dentals on my patients. The past few dentals I have done, have proven that beyond a reasonable doubt.

Duffy was one of my dental surgery patients. When I saw the small area of gingivitis on the premolar tooth (307), I took a dental radiograph. I was surprised at the extensive loss of bone around the roots of the teeth. I was expecting a little loss around the one tooth, not all three teeth. The two yellow lines represent where the bone is supposed to be holding the teeth in place.

Before I had dental rads, I would likely have only known to remove that one tooth. The red lines show the fused roots of 304 and 305. (Luckily I watched Sesame Street as a kid and learned how to count. All the teeth have assigned numbers.) Knowing that important piece of information allowed me to adjust how I drilled to expose the these roots and remove them easily.

Due to the extent of Duffy's dental disease, he went home with about eight teeth. Now don't worry. If our pet's can eat with that kind of dental disease, just think how well they do when they have healthy gums!