Our team continues to be here for you and your cherished pets. We are OPEN and are now able to provide a wide range of services. To learn more about the changes we have implemented in response to COVID-19 and what to expect during your next visit, click here.

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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Last updated: June 26, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective June 5, 2020 the restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.

1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

2. SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE

3. OPERATING HOURS

Beginning June 8, we will be resuming our normal business hours:

Monday - Friday: 7:30 am – 8:00 pm
Saturday: 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Sunday: Closed

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at Halifax Veterinary Hospital