Day Lily Toxicosis in Cats: A Retrospective Study of 40 Cases (1998-2002)
WSAVA 2002 Congress
*Robin Meredith Hadley, DVM, Sharon M. Gwaltney-Brant, DVM, PhD
*ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center
Urbana, Illinois, US


Over the past decade, the veterinary community has become increasingly aware of the association between Easter lily (Lilium sp.) ingestion and acute renal failure in cats. The Japanese, stargazer and tiger lily (all members of genus Lilium) are also regarded as nephrotoxic to cats. The goal of this poster is to examine similar risks posed by the common day lily (Hemerocallis dumartieri and fulvi) following feline ingestion.


Information was retrieved from the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center database. Records of cats describing ingestion of Hemerocallis sp. between January 1998 and May 2002 were reviewed for information on signalment, quantity ingested, clinical signs (onset, severity, duration), treatments administered, and outcome.


40 cases of suspected or known exposure were examined. Several cases had to be removed because of multiple plant ingestion, underlying renal disease, or poor exposure history. Additionally, 13 cases were known exposures for which aggressive decontamination and fluid diuresis were recommended. Of the twenty-two eligible cases remaining, fourteen cats (63.6%) presented with gastro-intestinal signs of vomiting and hypersalivation. Eight cats (36.3%) displayed neurological findings of ataxia, depression, and tremor; one of these eight progressed to seizure activity. Finally, there were nine suspected cases of acute renal failure (40.9%). Seven of these cases were confirmed with blood work and urinalyses. Presumed sequelae of anorexia, weight loss, and anemia were described in four animals. Three were euthanized; one died and no follow-up data were available on the remaining five cats.


While the clinical effects of Lilium sp. ingestion are well defined in cats, toxicity resulting from Hemerocallis sp. remains poorly understood. Both types of lily appear to have nephrotoxic potential. it is unknown if these plants share the same toxic principle, but exposed cats are at risk for acute tubular necrosis. Other types of plants which are commonly referred to as lilies (calla lily, peace lily) are not associated with acute renal failure, and common plant names can create confusion when evaluating and diagnosing the feline patient. For both Lilium and Hemerocallis sp. ingestion, chances of survival are increased with aggressive decontamination and fluid diuresis within 18 hours of exposure.

Speaker Information
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Robin Meredith Hadley, DVM
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center
1717 South Philo Road, Suite 36
Urbana, Illinois 61802 US

Sharon M. Gwaltney-Brant, DVM, PhD
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center

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