We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.

902.422.8595

Easter Danger – Your Cat Ate What?

Did you know that Easter can pose a significant threat to your feline friends? It’s not just chocolate that we’re worried about this time! A little known toxin could be within reach of your cat right now, and it goes by the name of Lilium Longiflorum, aka the Easter Lily. Pretty as they are, lilies can do some serious damage to your beloved cat, particularly to their kidneys, even if only a small amount is ingested. Unfortunately, toxicity can occur from anything as simple as drinking water from a vase or transfer of pollen to the fur that’s then ingested via grooming. We’re all familiar with the old saying “curiosity killed the cat,” now it may start to make sense how that saying came about. Never underestimate the strange things your cat may find appetizing. In this case, your cat’s curiosity could quickly turn into a potentially fatal situation.

What to watch for?

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Drooling
  • Dehydration
  • Hiding
  • Changes in urination (typically first an increase followed by a decrease in urine output indicates acute kidney failure could be occurring)

If it’s possible your cat could have ingested part of a lily and is showing any of the above signs it is extremely important to seek immediate veterinary attention. If it has been within six hours since ingestion, the veterinarian may be able to induce vomiting, followed by administering charcoal into the gastrointestinal tract, preventing further toxins from being absorbed into the body. Typically a hospital stay with IV fluids is the best course of treatment. Blood work and urine testing will also be completed to assess kidney function and any potential damage that may have occurred. If the beginning of treatment is prolonged to eighteen or more hours, kidney failure is likely to be irreversible. Quick action is the key to the best outcome for your cat.

Although Easter lilies remain the biggest toxicity offender during this time of year, it is not the only one to bring cause for concern. Be on the watch for any lily that is part of the genera Lilium or Hemerocallis. A few examples of these include daylilies, tiger lilies, red lilies, and stargazer lilies. If your cat may have ingested part of a lily and you are unsure if it is toxic, seek medical attention and bring the plant (or preferably the tag) with you to the veterinarian for identification.

The best way to ensure your cat stays safe is to keep lilies not just out of reach, but out of your house and garden completely. It is also recommended to think of your fellow cat-owning friends when sending flower bouquets. Excluding lilies from any gift is a smart way to show your love for your friend and their cats. Luckily, there are many beautiful plant alternatives that won’t cause a potentially life-threatening situation for your felines such as roses (but watch out for the thorns!), zinnias, and sunflowers. Be sure to spread the word to your friends and family to help keep cats safe and happy this Easter and skip the emergency visit to the vet.

Written by: Lauren Cuzner, RVT

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Does your feline have extra toes? The history behind Polydactyl Cats

Most cats have 18 toes; five toes on each of their front feet, and four on the back.  My cat, Mandy Pawtinkin, is blessed with 22 toes.  She has a congenital physical anomaly called polydactyly (Greek for ‘many digits’).  It is a genetic mutation that causes cats to be born with more than the usual number of toes on one or more of its paws.

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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

The following changes are effective as of Monday, March 23, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a "closed waiting room" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 902.422.8595. We will take a history of your pet over the phone, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. Once the examination is finished, we will call to discuss our recommended treatment plan over the phone and then return to your vehicle with your pet. Please ensure your pet has a properly fitted collar or is in a secure carrier. Please remove any additional clothing or blankets prior to our staff handling our patients to minimize risk to our team.

2. We are still OPEN but are now working in two shifts with reduced hours, reduced staff numbers and a need to close for extensive cleaning between shifts.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday, Thursday: 1:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am - 2:00 pm.

3. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.

Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus. You may see our team members wearing additional protective gear when interacting with our clients and patients.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at Halifax Veterinary Hospital