Paws had his paw shaved for intravenous fluids after chewing on an Easter Lilly.

Paws had his paw shaved for intravenous fluids after chewing on an Easter Lilly.

Easter Lilies are deadly for cats. Even 2 or 3 petals or leaves can result in severe kidney failure. If you see our cat eating any part of a lily, take him to the veterinarian immediately to treat the poison.

Let’s face it, cats like to chew on plants. And their curious nature makes them want to check out that new plant or bouquet of flowers that you brought home for Easter. Paws has many plants the cats have defoliated over the course of this winter. The last thing you want is for them to chew on an Easter Lilly, or any poisonous plant.

Easter Lilly, beautiful, but poisonous to cats.

Easter Lilly, beautiful, but poisonous to cats.

All parts of the plant are considered toxic – the stem, leaves, flowers, pollen, and even the water if they are in a vase. If a cat does ingest some lily, prompt treatment by a veterinarian is imperative for the best prognosis. Dogs who ingest lilies may experience minor stomach upset but do not develop kidney failure.

All parts of an Easter Lilly are poisonous to cats. even the water from the pot. [/caption]Symptoms develop within six to 12 hours of exposure. Early signs include vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy and dehydration. Symptoms worsen as kidney failure develops. Some cats will experience disorientation, staggering and seizures.

All parts of an Easter Lilly are poisonous to cats According to the Pet Poison Helpline, the sooner you get your cat to the vet for treatment, the better. They can start the decontamination process that may include vomiting, or giving binders like activated charcoal to bind the poison in the stomach and intestines, intravenous fluids to flush out the kidneys, and blood testing to monitor kidney function, all imperative in the early toxic stage. Aggressive intravenous fluid therapy, kidney function monitoring tests, and supportive care improve kitty’s prognosis.

A Personal Encounter for Paws and Little Yellow

Paws went through this a few years ago, when Little Yellow chewed on some lily leaves. He immediately started frothing at the mouth, and hyperventilating. Did he actually chew and ingest a tiny bit of the leaves. Not sure, we immediately called the Emergency Veterinarian Center, some 70 miles away. There was no question – get him there are soon as possible. It was 60 to 70 mph down winding country roads, and he was scared, hyperventilating, and who knew what else. It turned out there was a tiny shred of poisonous substance in his body. He would stay for the night for intravenous therapy to be picked up the next morning at 7 am.

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Wordless Wednesday: Cats dreaming of spring

Are your kitties ready for spring? Are they dreaming of windows getting thrown open and some fresh air streaming in? Are they sick of sleeping in front of the wood stove or fireplace to stay warm? Are we humans just dreaming that they are dreaming of spring? Here, these cats in the Paws household are looking forward to a real change in temperature. They want spring now. But of course, they like us humans, have to wait for the temperatures to cooperate. What are your cats thinking? Please weigh in and join the discussion.

Cat dreaming of spring.

Cat dreaming of spring.

Cat dreaming of spring.

Spring, spring, spring – cat looks out window wishing for warmer temps.

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Category: Cats

Indoor and outdoor cats can get heartworm. Difficult to diagnose, heartworm is incurable and can be fatal. But unlike many diseases, it is very preventable. In cats, heartworm most often affects the respiratory system. In our canine friends, heartworm strikes the heart.

Many types of worms affect cats. Most often, we think of round worms, ring worms or tape worms in the intestines. However, there’s also heartworm, lung worm, and probably more.

Heartworm Cycle

Heartworm Cycle

Paws for Reflection takes a look at this very important issue because it hit home last summer. My veterinarian had some concern that Little Yellow, also known as Paws, had heartworm and not heart disease. The persistent cough that didn’t want to go away was not a symptom of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). The question – what was causing this nagging cough that would send him into horrific coughing fits. The x-rays indicated there could be small filaments around the lungs. He pondered, ‘Could these be heartworms?’

If one cat had heartworm, how could we protect the other 4 felines from contracting this potentially fatal disease?

At home, Paws started to learn more about this not so well-known disease in cats.

What is heartworm?

According to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA),  this serious disease results in severe lung disease, heart failure, and other organ damage. While most common in dogs, it also affects cats, ferrets, wolves, coyotes, and even an occasional human. It is caused by a parasitic worm called Dirofilaria immitis and spread through a mosquito bite. Cats can get heartworms after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

However, a cat is considered a resistant host of heartworms because the worms do not thrive as well inside a cat’s body.

Keeping kitty inside may decrease the risk of heartworms, but it does not prevent it. The American Heartworm Society cites a study in which 25% of the cats that tested positive for heartworms were considered to be indoor cats.

heartwormcat

We find some interesting statistics including:

  • While infected dogs may have 30 or more worms in their heart and lungs, cats usually have 6 or fewer, and may have just one or two.
  • While the severity of heartworm disease in dogs is related to the number of worms, in cats, just 1 or 2 worms can make a cat very ill.
  • In cats, the FDA says heartworms do not live as long (the average lifespan is only 2 to 3 years).
  • The heartworms are shorter.
  • Fewer heartworms mature into adults.
  • Many cats are able to spontaneously rid themselves of heartworms without showing symptoms. Others die suddenly from without ever showing signs of being sick.
  • Respiratory, not cardiac, issues are the most common symptom of the disease, due to the lung damage caused by the heartworms.
  • Cats typically show symptoms of heartworm disease at two times – when the immature heartworms arrive in the heart and lung arteries and when the adult heartworms die.
  • It’s not easy to detect heartworm in cats,/li>We ask why is it harder to detect them?

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Wordless Wednesday: Cat finds new place to escape Polar Express

It’s March and spring is only a few days away. Yet, here in rural New England, it feels like January, with almost sub-zero temperatures.
Here, Pink Collar has found a new bed, or sorts. She’s sleeping on top of the heating monitor. How are your cats keeping warm as the last
vestige of winter holds on? Please weigh in and share your comments.

Cat escapes Polar Express, staying nice and toasty on the heating monitor.

Cat escapes Polar Express, staying nice and toasty on the heating monitor.

Cat,, Pink Collar, stays warm on the heating monitor.

Cat,, Pink Collar, stays warm on the heating monitor.

Cat discovers Monitor is a great place to sleep.

Cat discovers Monitor is a great place to sleep.

Cat Pink Collar finds new sleeping spot.

Cat Pink Collar finds new sleeping spot.

Cat says, What a comfortable bed.

Cat says, What a comfortable bed.

A black cat's new bed, the heating monitor.

A black cat’s new bed, the heating monitor.

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Category: Cat Humor, Cats

Do cats enjoy Saint Patrick’s Day and the history, legends, and folklore that go with it? Do they like the shamrocks, wearing of the green, dreaming of the leprechaun’s pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, or indulging in a, oh so little, sip of green beer?

Cat Lenny checks out Saint Patrick's Day Shamrocks.

Cat Lenny checks out Saint Patrick’s Day Shamrocks.

Or would they rather get caught up in the more pious celebrations of driving out the snakes and finding peace and tranquility within? Do they gather in front of the TV or in your apartment window and watch the thousands celebrate this festive day.

Kitty Little Yellow basks in the glory of peace of the St. Patrick's Day Shamrocks.

Kitty Little Yellow basks in the glory of peace of the St. Patrick’s Day Shamrocks.

Do they gather round the table as their humans dig into that oh so yummy smelling corned beef and cabbage?

For Paws and our 5 felines, we did enjoy playing with the shamrocks. And the kitties are looking forward to some good ole human food, even if it’s just a taste. As for the green beer, they’ll take a whiff, and that’s probably enough for their feline taste buds.

They, and humans around the world, from Boston to New York City, Chicago, Japan, Singapore, Russia and Dublin are celebrating the day in a more elaborate style. In Chicago, there is the famous dyeing the river green. In New York and Boston, the parades celebrate  the cities’ long-standing Irish heritage.

Cat Lenny wants to play with St. Patrick's Day Shamrocks.

Cat Lenny wants to play with St. Patrick’s Day Shamrocks.

Siamese Cat Linus wonders if these St. Patrick's Day Shamrocks might be as good as corned beef and cabbage.

Siamese Cat Linus wonders if these St. Patrick’s Day Shamrocks might be as good as corned beef and cabbage.

Over 35 million celebrate in just the United States alone. Paws became curious, where did Saint Patrick’s Day, and all these traditions come from. It’s a day of contradictions – from the merriment to the religious. Perhaps the paradox in that we are commemorating Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, while also celebrating Irish heritage. of eating and drinking, while taking a break from Lent, and all the things that are given up during that pious time.

Paws was curious as to where it all came from. Here’s a little bit of what we found.

 

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Catpersonable BJ Bangs



A journalist and photographer, BJ blogs about everything cat, including why they make the best soul-mates here on earth & beyond, giving reason to Paws for Reflection.


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