I'm Zach, with a sick kitty :-(
Hi everyone, my name is Zach and I live in Iowa (USA). While I have had my two cats, Aikman and Skeeter, for over seven years, I wouldn't describe myself as an avid cat person. I feed them and play with them, but that's mostly the extent of my in-depth knowledge on cats. I've been around cats all my life from childhood through today, and I just enjoy their company. Hopefully that shines a little light on what type of "cat person" I am.
The reason I joined today was that I'm looking for a little comfort. Let me map out the days for you here:
Saturday, February 9th: I had flowers delivered here at home to my wife for somewhat of a pre-Valentines day present. These flowers were Stargazer lilies.
The week of Sunday, February 10th-Saturday, February 16th: Everything went fine. The flowers sat on the table and as far as I know, they remained untouched by the kitties.
Sunday, February 17th: I woke up to hearing a loud splash in the dining room where the lilies were being kept. I got out there almost immediately to sop up all the water and put the lilies back up. One of my kitties, Aikman, thinks everything in the house needs his attention. If I leave my bike on the trainer in the living room, he spends much of his day rubbing on the tires. So I didn't think much of it - Aikman knocked over the vase... bad Aikman!
Monday, February 18th:Aikman (who is known for being a bit of a "pukey" cat anyway) threw up in the hallway in the morning as I was getting ready for work. A few minutes later, he threw up again. He was crying a bit when this was going on, but his second vomit had a big furball in it. So again, we didn't think much of it. After I had left for work, my wife texted me to tell me that he had defecated on her shoe. This is really bizarre for my Aikman, but to be fair he did the same thing a couple weeks prior - before the flowers even arrived.
Wednesday, February 20th @11:00pm: My wife comes home from work (I was sleeping) and says that Aikman had knocked over the vase of flowers again and this time he had a little yellow pollen on the side of his face and his neck area from rubbing up on the flowers. She cleaned it off of him right away (Aikman is notoriously bad about not cleaning up himself in those areas).
Thursday, February 21st @ 7:00am : We woke up to find Aikman had puked in the hallway again last night (again, he goes through bouts here and there where he pukes a little bit more than normal). This morning, though, it looked like he might have gotten some more pollen on this face, or that my wife just didn't get it fully cleaned when she cleaned him last night, as this stuff is nearly impossible to get off. The fur stays yellow even after you've scrubbed it, so I'm optimistically convinced that it was more of a dye thing going on.
Friday, February 22nd @7:00am: Aikman did today similar to what he did on Monday. He was crying a bit and he threw up a few times. Almost identical even, because right after the threw up he went to a corner and defecated. This time you could tell that either he was having a little trouble defecating or the more obvious thing was that he had to go and was afraid to do it in front of me.
Finally, I did a search on Google to see if maybe it was something with the flower that made him sick. Of course, I find out Lilies are very poisonous to cats. What's worse is that I can't seem to find any definitive guidance on how it works. Thinking that it's just too bizarre that we happen to have that plant in the house and we know Aikman at least had some on his fur, we decided to make an appointment with an emergency vet.
The vet was aware of the dangers of lilies but being as we were able to tell her for sure that our cat didn't eat any of the leaves or petals, and that it's also not very likely that he cleaned any actual pollen off his own face, the vet seemed to be optimistic from the very beginning.
She ran a full series of tests on him. They checked his vitals, which were all good, then ran an x-ray on him to make sure he didn't have a bowel obstruction. They wanted to take a urinalysis but they said he literally just didn't have anything in his bladder.
Then they did his blood-work and everything came back great. The kidney numbers looked perfectly normal and to boot, my kitty was rumored to be in the back hamming it up for the vets, purring and soaking up all the attention he could get.
The vet said that they could certainly keep the cat for 24 hours and run fluids through him, but with his great blood numbers and what she described as a low-risk of ingestion of the plant or the pollen, she said if it were her cat she would just inject it with some fluids and come back tomorrow to have the blood work done again to ensure that his kidneys still look good and then once more on Monday just to be on the safe side.
Firstly - I feel awful. I bought the flowers for my wife and honestly I didn't even know what kind they were. I just knew that they were very pretty and I thought she would like them. Even if I did now, there was no warning on the site where I ordered the flowers (ProFlowers.com) and I didn't know lilies were toxic previously.
But right now I'm just nervous about my kitty. Other than the episodes I described above, he was his perfectly chipper and happy self. In fact, within about five minutes of getting home from the vet this morning, he's doing exactly what he would otherwise be doing - playing around, seeing how many laps he can sit in, and he's taking his usual mid-day siesta right now. No more vomiting, and he ate a can of wet food I gave as fiercely as I've ever seen him do.
But even still, the common suggestion I read all over is that people are putting these cats on IVs immediately. The vet offered that to us (so she knows the procedure) but just didn't think it would be necessary given the results of all the tests and their visual inspection of him. Of course, I've come home and gotten back into my evil "Google" habit of researching things even after a perfectly competent doctor has told me what I need to know.
I know this is not the right forum for it, but I had a hard time introducing myself without bringing up this situation. I'm just curious if anyone has experience with this. Unfortunately, it's hard to find someone who has replicated this exact situation. If you go by when he first started acting weird, you could say he was exposed a full 5-6 days ago. If you go by when we visually saw pollen on his face, that was only about 36 hours ago or so. At any rate, I hope by this time, a blood test would have confirmed that his kidney levels were at least abnormal. But I've seen some stories online where a family came home to see one bite mark on a leaf and ended up taking all four of their cats to the vet and putting them through 24 hours of IV.
This issue is just so ambiguous - it drives me crazy. We have an appointment with our regular vet at 8am tomorrow morning for his next-day blood work but I am really hoping my kitty is okay and that I'm not making the wrong decision by not making the emergency vet hold onto him for 24 hours and keep him on an IV.