Introduction: CURE Lily Poisoning in Cats (at Home!)
Vets. Can't afford them, can't live without them. They're highly crucial for the health of your pets, but they can completely drain the bank for every little emergency your pet gets itself into. This is especially true with cats. Remember that saying,"Curiosity killed the cat"? Well this instructable is to share with you a home remedy to keep that from happening to your curious little kitty.
I give you: "How to cure lily poisoning in cats at home"...
(It's fast, effective, and WAY cheaper then the vet while utilizing the same vet-issued remedies!)
Step 1: The Dreadful Encounter
Lilies. They're exotic, beautiful, and delightfully scented. They're plentiful around the Easter holiday and they make great gifts for the last-minute shopper. But they're also DEADLY to your cat, even with just the touch of it's pollen. If your cat has even just brushed up against a lily, you should consider it a medical emergency.
According to "Vet Help Direct".com, "It is thought that all parts of the lily flower and plant are poisonous to cats if eaten, and the effects are very serious and very fast. Only a very small amount needs to be eaten to cause devastating effects. Unfortunately kittens are most susceptible, not only because of their size but also because of their natural curiosity and tendency to investigate everything. The poison acts mainly on the kidneys and is absorbed very rapidly. The first sign is usually severe vomiting but cats may also show loss of appetite, depression, salivation, twitching or collapse. Sadly, a high number of them will die due to irreversible kidney damage. Others will survive but have permanent kidney damage. Only a lucky few will survive without long-lasting effects." Read more about it here: http://www.vethelpdirect.com/vetblog/2010/05/02/li...
And from Cats.org.uk, "Within minutes to hours of ingesting part of the lily plant, your cat may vomit, become lethargic, or develop a lack of appetite. As the toxin begins to affect the kidneys, these signs continue and worsen as the kidney damage progresses. Without prompt and proper treatment by a veterinarian, the cat may develop kidney failure in approximately 36-72 hours. If you see a cat eating lilies, contact a veterinarian immediately. If emergency treatment is begun within 6 hours of consumption, the chances are good that the cat will recover. This generally consists of emptying the gastrointestinal tract of the affected cat and intravenous fluid therapy in a hospital setting. If more than 18 hours has elapsed, and the kidneys have been severely affected, your cat may not survive, even with emergency care. The treatment generally consists of hospitalization and intravenous fluids. Your vet may also give your cat medication to control nausea and vomiting." Read more here: http://www.cats.org.uk/wolverhampton/news/lethal-l...
Although it will never be recommended by a vet to treat your pet at home, sometimes that is the best you can do in that moment. It's always nice when that home remedy can actually CURE your cat, just as if you took it to the vet in the first place. In fact, a lot of vets will use the remedy I'm about to share with you...
Step 2: Activated Charcoal
These may sound silly, but they work and are HIGHLY BENEFICIAL to the well-being of your cat at this point, especially if you can't afford taking them to the vet. Yes, you should ALWAYS take them to the doctors whenever possible, but if this is the best you can do, it's absolutely better then nothing!
ACTIVATED CHARCOAL POWDER:
This has many, many benefits that are good for both humans and cats, but in regards to lily poisoning, vets will administer this to your cat as a means of removing the toxin from your cat's kidneys and body. The bonus is that activated charcoal powder is basically tasteless, so your cat won't even notice it's in there.
From Vetfolio.com, "More recent reports found that with aggressive therapy, the treatment for lily toxicosis is effective if early treatment is initiated rapidly and aggressively. Adequate decontamination (with emesis induction [aka induced vomiting] and activated charcoal) along with aggressive IV fluid diuresis [to increase urine production] is of the utmost importance." Read more here: http://www.vetfolio.com/article/lily-toxicosis-in-...
From Natural Holistic Health, "Activated charcoal powder can adsorb thousands of times its own weight in gases, heavy metals, poisons, and other chemicals; thus it renders them ineffective and harmless. As this absorption ability is one of the major benefits of activated charcoal, this substance is routinely used in hospitals and by physicians." Read more here: http://www.natural-holistic-health.com/the-benefi...
HOW TO ADMINISTER ACTIVATED CHARCOAL (As immediately after the deadly encounter as possible):
1. Simply put 1 teaspoon (or 1 capsule in pill form, opening it to empty out the powder) in your cat's wet food (or get them a special meat or wet canned food--if you only have dry food--to put it in). Mix it in well and let your cat have at it. If they don't eat it all (because they've lost some of their appetite from the poisoning already), save it in the fridge and give it to them at their next mealtime to finish.
2. Or, if it's already to the point where they won't eat barely anything at all, try emptying the charcoal powder from a pill (or teaspoon) into a piece of meat (like sandwich turkey or chicken), roll it up, and try to have them eat it all in one bite.
3. If both of these approaches don't work, mix the charcoal (from pill or teaspoon) with some water to make a black "juice" (for lack of a better word) and put it in an oral syringe (or dropper) and put it closer to the back of the cat's throat to help them swallow it quickly. It's CRUCIAL that your cat gets this ASAP!
NOTE: You can give your cat 1/2 to 1 teaspoon (or 1/2 to 1 pill opened up) of charcoal powder in their food with every meal for the next week (or at least once to twice per day), or until symptoms lift and your cat bounces back to it's normal self. You can reduce the amount of charcoal in their food as the symptoms reduce.
Step 3: LOTS OF LIQUIDS!!
Along with charcoal, it's imperative that your cat gets more water, and this may be tricky as your cat may lose it's desire to drink (as well as eat).
The above picture (3rd one)--although not pretty looking--shows how a can of wet cat food mixed with charcoal mixed with water will look. As you see, this is about the maximum water level to add to the food as any more will make the food not smelly enough for your feline to be attracted to eat. This is the water level our kitty needed, especially near the beginning, to get her back on track because she was very dehydrated. The beautiful thing was that she had to lick up all the water in order to get down to the meat that she was smelling. This made it so that she consumed most of her charcoal and liquids (which are the most critical component to her recovery) before eating the actual food (which is nutritious and helps keep her strength up).
Here are some tips if your cat won't drink water:
1. Feed wet foods. Wet foods have up to 78% water content in them, versus the merely 10% (or less) in dry food. This week while trying to save your cat's life from this poisoning, feed them wet foods only.
2. Add water to their wet food, but not so much that it's too watered down. (Again, see picture #3)
3. Put multiple dishes of water around the house (and use different types of containers if they're not feeling their traditional bowl).
4. Try setting up a running water machine or leave a faucet running near to where they like to perch so they are more enticed to drink water.
5. Pet them and talk to them nicely while you're trying to get them to eat or drink.
6. Try warming up their food so they are more enticed to eat it. (This helps them not only get more water from the food, but more nutrients too.)
Here are some more ideas from Geeks on Pets: http://www.geeksonpets.com/how_6381840_sick-cat-ea...
Give your kitty a very small amount of non-caffeinated, non-sweetened Peppermint Tea:
This is mainly for the benefit of helping your cat drink their water (and it does have some stomach-soothing effects when your kitty is vomiting a lot or has diarrhea). MAKE SURE that your cat does NOT eat any peppermint oil, peppermint leaves (like if the tea bag spilled open), etc...but the "juice" from the cold, watered down, non-sweetened tea is safe for them in SMALL amounts. And because peppermint is attractive to cats, it may entice them to drink their water up with just a very small amount in their water. (Then you could finish the tea yourself, as it's incredibly beneficial to humans!) This would probably be a last resort for getting your kitty to drink their water.
HOW I DO THIS: I make a little peppermint tea in a cup like usual. Then I take a spoonful or two (or 1-2 tablespoons) of this tea and put it directly into their full water dish. This waters it down nicely without being too little or too strong.
From one blogger's experiences with peppermint tea and a hurt/sick kitty: "It turns out that mint is related to catnip and has a similar effect on cats. It’s a happy drug for felines. Much like it does for people, mint tea can be a gentle way to ease digestive troubles. I also learned that a compress of peppermint tea applied externally to skin problems is helpful for cats." Read more here: http://www.tching.com/2010/01/peppermint-tea-for-t... and read about warnings and safe uses here: http://ultimatecat.blogspot.ca/2012/03/natural-rem...
Step 4: Our Kitty Testimonies
We have two little kitties, both about 9 months old. Ginger is just that, the ginger colored kitty. And Peaches is the multi-colored one. Our family has usually always had birds or dogs, but not really many cats. So when my hubby brought me home a beautiful white lily, there weren't any red flags going up for either of us in regards to our cats.
Almost immediately, our cats both found their way to smelling and investigating this new, tantalizing thing in their house. Ginger started to nibble one of the plant's leaves and we quickly removed her from the plant and put the plant up high (hoping to keep it out of their reach).
Within a few hours to a day, we started noticing vomit and diarrhea around the house. This we quickly attributed to the eating of the plant (because that's the only foreign substance that they had encountered recently), not knowing how severe of a problem this actually was.
My gut just kept telling me something wasn't right when Ginger stopped wanting to eat and both of them were more lethargic and mopey. I just so happened to ask my friend (who also has a cat) about what I should do. When I mentioned about our cat's having eaten a plant leaf, she inquired if it was a lily.
She quickly went into how bad lilies were and while she talked I scoured the internet looking up effects of lilies on cats. My heart sunk. I was so sure these little kitties would definitely be on their way to their death beds, especially because our family is in full-time ministry and we make only enough money for our necessities to be covered, thus we couldn't afford a crazy vet bill all of a sudden. (There were other financial things that had just consumed our money at the time too, and we only get paid once per month).
What would we do!?
Well first and foremost, we removed the lily from the house and put it out on our back porch (with a locked door separating it from our kitties). Then, I researched and researched for an answer to some sort of home remedy to save our kitties! When I compiled my research, it was basically repetitive articles relaying the info I've shared here on this instructable. I gave both cats 1 pill worth of activated charcoal right away (mixed into their food). We also watered down their wet food to help them get more water and fast.
I'm not even kidding, within A DAY Ginger (in particular, since she was the one who actually ate some of the plant and was the hardest hit) bounced back and developed her desire to eat, play, etc (and there was no longer ANY vomit or diarrhea around the house)! I couldn't believe it! We continued feeding each of them 1/2 a pill of charcoal with every meal for the next couple days.
And knowing that the vet would be doing everything I'm doing at home, I felt safe that our kitties would be A-OK (and they are!) :)
So happy I found this info! And thrilled to share it...this could save your cat's life someday, too! Please spread the word.