To all the Mothers in the world Happy Mothers Day.
With Mothers Day approaching this weekend, we thought it was important to write about Lily Flower Toxicity in Cats.
Lily flowers are toxic for cats and can cause death. Toxicities in pets are a common cause of vet emergency. Lily toxicity is seen most often during holidays and on special occasions such as Valentine’s day and Mother’s day when flower bouquets are given as gifts.
Many lily species are toxic to felines and can include, but not limited to:
• Easter lily
• Tiger lilyR
• Rubrum lily
• Stargazer Lily
• Japanese show lily
• Red lily
• Western lily
• Wood lily
• Day lily
All parts of the plant are toxic and a small amount, even 1-2 leaves, can be lethal. Toxicity can cause kidney failure, vomiting, diarrhea and seizures.
If your cat potentially ingested lily’s prompt and early intervention often leads to a good prognosis, however once clinical signs develop and progress then it may be too late to reverse the damage done.
If you have any concern about your cat ingesting Lilies you should contacting your local vet or 24 hour pet hospital immediately as lily ingestion is an animal emergency.
For pets that are in need of specialised medicine treatment, Animal Accident & Emergency offers a Medicine Service at our Point Cook Pet Emergency Centre. Our Medicine Service accepts all forms of Internal Medicine consults and we are more than happy to provide advice on a wide range of medical conditions.
The Medicine Service is essential in the diagnosis, management and nonsurgical treatment of complicated and unusual medical diseases in animals. The types of diseases seen by our Medicine Service are wide and varied, including diseases of different organ systems. For example:
We also see diseases that may affect multiple body systems at the same time, such as infectious diseases or cancer. As part of cancer therapy, we now offer a chemotherapy service. Our Medicine Service is also complimented by our Intensive Care Service for seriously ill patients requiring ongoing 24 hour care.
The benefits of seeing an Internal Medicine Specialist in our Medicine Service is that they can offer diagnostic procedures and management of diseases that are often not available in general practice veterinary clinics, which may be due to limitations of equipment or the complexity of the disease. Like all veterinary specialists, Internal Medicine Specialists undergo advanced training in the form of a Residency program and are required to pass Fellowship exams through the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (ANZCVS) or the overseas equivalent (USA or European boards). This training means that Internal Medicine Specialists develop advanced technical skills that allow them to perform diagnostics and treatment at a specialist level in their area of expertise.
Diagnostic testing used by our Medicine Service may involve:
Patients seen by our Medicine Service require a referral from their family veterinarian that they see for routine healthcare. We also require the patient’s medical history to be sent in advance of the consultation where possible. We will continue to update the referring veterinarian with summaries of our consultations and aim to work together with them to provide the most appropriate continuing care for your pet. Ongoing management may require periodic visits to our Medicine Service and/or ongoing communication with your veterinarian. As with any veterinary patient, drugs may only be prescribed for those directly under our care, which means that drugs may only be dispensed by our clinic for up to six months following a consultation with us. It is also important to note that our Medicine Service does not provide primary healthcare (such as vaccinations and desexing) as these types of vet care are performed by your family veterinarian.
Since early 2013, the development and management of the Medicine Service has been headed by Dr Linda Abraham, who is an Internal Medicine Specialist with many years of experience in referral/specialist veterinary practice. Prior to attending university, Dr Linda Abraham worked as a veterinary nurse in a mixed practice. In 1983, Linda passed her preliminary veterinary nursing examination and then her final veterinary nursing examination in 1985, for which she was awarded the BSAVA prize for the highest marks in that year.
Linda then went on to graduate from the Royal Veterinary College, London in 1994 with a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine (BVetMed). She has also completed a Bachelor of Science (BSc) and a PhD from the University of London in 1991 and 1998 respectively. Following on from this, Linda then underwent specialist training, completing her Membership in Small Animal Medicine (MANZCVS) in 2000, and then completing her Fellowship in Canine Medicine (FANZCVS) in 2006. She has since acted as an examiner for the ANZCVS both at the Membership and Fellowship levels.
Linda’s residency program (specialist training) at the University of Melbourne was supervised by Dr Steven Holloway and after the program was completed, she continued to work at the University of Melbourne as a registrar initially and then became a member of faculty in 2002. Linda has lectured veterinary undergraduates for many years at the university and is currently involved in teaching veterinary post graduate continuing education programs.
Linda’s areas of interest include endocrine disease and, despite having specialised in canine medicine, she has a particular interest in feline endocrine disease, including feline hyperthyroidism. Linda has previously treated many cases of feline hyperthyroidism successfully with radio-iodine therapy (this treatment will soon be available at our Point Cook Clinic). Linda also has an interest in liver disease and the treatment of cancer.
Dr Linda Abraham is available for specialist medicine consultations during weekdays (excluding public holidays). Please contact our Point Cook Pet Emergency Centre on (03) 8368 7400 to book an appointment.
Appointments are by referral from your family veterinarian or AAE’s emergency veterinarians.
Toxicities are one of the more common presenting problems we see in the emergency room at Animal Accident and Emergency (AAE). Although it can be embarrassing for owners to admit, this includes accidental ingestion of illicit drugs.
There are some common symptoms that can be associated with different drug exposures; however, it is always reassuring to have a quantitative answer. There are many time where owners have no idea that their pet has found something they shouldn’t have.
Earlier this week, our emergency team were presented with a pet who was mentally altered and starting to have fits or seizures. There was no long term medical problems and the signs had developed rapidly. Given the type of signs, we asked the clients regarding access to some recreational drugs. While they were sure that their pet could not have been exposed, we ran a DIPSCAN test to be sure. The DIPSCAN was positive for a number of drugs. One being Diazepam which was given by the emergency team during stabilisation of the seizures. In this case, exposure was linked to a party held a week before hand.
Other times where the test has helped us out is when pets scavenge stuff from parks or laneways around houses. Again, owners are often unaware of what their pet has ingested. Identification is important as it can change the way we treat your pet in an emergency. Knowing what drugs your pet has ingested, can be save its life.
DIPSCAN is an in-house, diagnostic tool commonly utilised at AAE when there has been a suspected exposure to illicit drugs. By processing a urine sample we are able to identify trace amounts of illicit drugs such as: marijuana, opioids (e.g. heroin, morphine), cocaine, amphetamines, methyl-amphetamines and benzodiazepines (e.g. diazepam). Attached is a photo of a DIPSCAN test. To read the test, you look to see the windows where there is only one line.
This test can be extremely valuable when trying to structure treatment plans, anticipate future treatment requirements and reinforce prognosis.
Knowing that there is always a Vet Open in Melbourne when your pet is ill is important. Our team of Vets and Nurses really CARE for your pet. We try and make a difference with each patient. Our Centres are open each day. We are 24 hour pet emergency centres. Our two locations means that we can service most Melbourne suburbs including Vet Open Sunday.
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An anaphylactic reaction (or anaphylaxis) occurs when pets become hypersensitive and react to foreign substances invading the body, such as toxins induced through insect bites. When pets have an anaphylactic reaction it is a highly serious animal emergency that requires immediate treatment at a 24 hour veterinary clinic, as it can progress to anaphylactic shock.
Anaphylactic reactions can be caused by a range of different foreign substances invading the pet’s body and requires previous (or excessive) exposure to that substance for anaphylactic reactions to occur. The pet develops hypersensitivity to the foreign substance causing their immune system to overreact to the stimulus when they next encounter the same substance. The immune system then produces immunoglobulin that reacts with cells in the body called mast cells which release histamine. Release of histamine results in the animal developing clinical signs including hives, swollen face, vomiting, etc. These cells are then sensitised and will have a more severe reaction the next time they are exposed to the same foreign substance.
The types of foreign substances that can result in anaphylactic reactions are:
• Insect bites
• Medications (e.g. antibiotics)
• Toxins in the environment (e.g. cigarette smoke, perfume, air fresheners, etc)
• Chemicals and poisons
• Food (similar to humans, this can be any type of food that the animal is allergic to)
The clinical signs of anaphylactic reactions displayed by pets will depend on the type of exposure, the amount of foreign substance that has entered the pet’s body and the pet’s resistance to the foreign substance. As anaphylactic reactions worsen with each exposure, it is important that pet owners do everything possible in the future to prevent their pets from being exposed to the foreign substance again. Each time pets are exposed they will be at greater risk of having severe reactions and progressing to anaphylactic shock, which can result in death.
The main clinical signs or anaphylactic reactions that pet owners need to be aware of are:
• Red swellings or hives
• Swollen/puffy face
• Cyanosis (bluish tinge to the tongue and gums)
• Excessive salivating and drooling
• Vomiting and diarrhoea
• High temperature
• Respiratory distress
• Anaphylactic shock
To diagnose anaphylaxis, 24hr emergency vets will look at the clinical signs presented as well as the pet’s medical history and previous exposure to the foreign substance. Knowledge of past exposure to the foreign substance is very helpful, so it is important that pet owners inform vets if this is the case. Blood and urine tests may also be performed by veterinarians to determine the best course of treatment.
Treatment for anaphylaxis will depend on the type of foreign substance that the pet is reacting to (i.e. insect bites, food, etc.). However, the first step that 24hr vets will always take if possible is to remove any objects that may be causing the reaction (e.g. bee stingers), and stabilise the pet, in particular, ensuring that the pet is able to breathe normally as anaphylaxis can cause respiratory distress. For mild cases of anaphylactic reactions, anti-histamines and anti-inflammatory medications will need to be administered to treat the clinical signs, followed by ongoing monitoring in a 24 hour pet hospital if needed. Pets experiencing mild reactions have an excellent chance of full recovery.
For more severe cases, when pets having an anaphylactic reaction progress to a state of anaphylactic shock, it becomes a highly critical and life threatening animal emergency. Pets in anaphylactic shock need to be hospitalised in a 24 hour pet hospital and given adrenalin, IV fluid therapy and oxygen therapy (via a breathing tube). They will also require further medical treatment and ongoing close monitoring by emergency vets and nurses. However, when treated quickly and with the appropriate ongoing pet care, cases of anaphylactic shock still have a reasonable chance of recovery.
Animal Accident & Emergency have two 24 hour pet emergency centres in Melbourne, which are ideally located in Essendon and Point Cook – both with easy freeway access and ample parking. Our animal hospitals are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (including public holidays), and offer all the latest equipment and state of the art technology, as well as a 24 hour intensive care unit. Our dedicated team of emergency vets and nurses provide the highest standards of emergency vet care, critical care medicine and surgery, and are experienced in treating every vet emergency from right across Melbourne, Geelong and Ballarat. So when you bring your pet to Animal Accident & Emergency you can rest assured that they will receive the best and most advanced vet care available.
If you believe your pet may be having an anaphylactic reaction, or for any veterinarian emergency, please phone one of our 24 hour animal emergency centres:
Always Open, We Always Care
Anaemia is not in itself a specific disease, but rather the result of another underlying disease/injury, which causes pets to have a reduced number of red blood cells. Depending on the severity level, anaemia on its own can be life threatening and may require emergency vet care, but what is usually more concerning for the pet’s health is the underlying disease/injury that is causing it to become anaemic.
There are three main causes of anaemia in cats and dogs – diseases/injuries that cause blood loss; diseases that decrease the production of red blood cells; and diseases that cause haemolysis (which is the destruction or breakdown of red blood cells). Anaemia caused by blood loss is often the result of serious trauma or injuries that sever blood vessels or damage internal organs. It can also be the result of excessive parasite activity on the animals, or tumours in areas of the body such as the intestinal tract, kidneys, urinary bladder or spleen, which cause internal bleeding.
The most common cause of reduced blood cell production is any severe or chronic disease, such as cancer, renal disease or cardiac disease. However, it can also be caused by poor nutrition, autoimmune disease, hypothyroidism, or toxicity. Anaemia caused by haemolysis can also be the result of the same diseases like autoimmune disease, cancer or toxicity, as well as blood parasites.
The first clinical signs of anaemia that pet owners will witness are their cat or dog appearing to have little stamina and seeming lethargic or tired, as well as having pale gums. When these signs are displayed the pet will need to be seen at a 24 hour vet clinic for examination. Unless there is an obvious injury or chronic disease that is found to be causing the anaemia, a range of tests will need to be performed to determine what is causing the disease. These tests include taking a blood sample to measure the red blood cell and haemoglobin count. This blood sample will also be used to test for increased numbers of immature red blood cells (known as reticulocytes) to ensure the pet’s bone marrow is responding correctly to the need for more red blood cells. It often takes at least 3-5 days for the body to realise it is anaemic and start releasing immature red blood cells from the bone marrow.
Tests may also be done by the veterinarian to check for parasite activity or any evidence of abnormal cells that may be caused by leukaemia. In some cases, other tests may include a reticulocyte count, bone marrow biopsy, a biochemical profile or urinalysis, or a faecal exam. These tests will help the emergency vet to determine the overall health of the animal and check whether the animal’s organs are functioning normally.
If the anaemia is severe then it can certainly be life threatening and need emergency vet care, which will often involve a blood transfusion. However, a transfusion is not a cure for anaemia, it is used to stabilise the animal and allow time to conduct the diagnostic tests needed to find the underlying disease causing the anaemia. Treatment for the anaemia and the underlying disease will require intensive care and ongoing monitoring at a 24 hour animal hospital to allow for the best chance of success and recovery.
Animal Accident & Emergency have two 24 hour pet emergency centres in Melbourne, which are ideally located in Essendon and Point Cook and both with easy freeway access and amble parking. Our emergency vet clinics operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (including public holidays), and offer all the latest equipment and state of the art technology, as well as a 24 hour intensive care unit. Our dedicated team of emergency vets and nurses provide the highest standards of emergency vet care, critical care medicine and surgery, and are experienced in treating all emergencies from right across Melbourne, Geelong and Ballarat. So when you bring your pet to Animal Accident & Emergency you can rest assured that your pet will receive the best and most advanced vet care available.
If you believe your pet may be have anaemia or for any emergency, please phone one of our 24-hour Animal Accident & Emergency Centres:
Essendon Fields (03) 9379 0700
Point Cook (03) 8368 7400
Always Open, We Always Care
During the Easter break our 24 Hr Animal Hospitals will be available to help you at anytime. Our Emergency Vet Hospitals have Veterinarians on shift at all times. Both our centres are located so that they can service Melbourne and surrounding suburbs. Our Point Cook 24Hr Pet Emergency Centre services Geelong and the surf Coast. If you have concerns or you are looking for a vet that is now open, please phone our Essendon Pet Emergency Centre on 9379 0700 or our Point Cook 24 Hr Emergency Animal Hospital on 8368 7400.
Our Vet Clinics are Always Open, We always CARE.