Letter to the editor

Opinion: Beware of lily leaves, a feline and canine poison


A few days ago we almost lost our beloved cat Smokey because he nipped a day lily leaf in our garden. It turns that day lilies are extremely toxic to cats. We had no idea. The skill and compassion of Dr. Ted Schupbach and his staff saved Smokey's life, although he has kidney damage that will require a special diet for the rest of his life.

Had we known, we would have been more vigilant about what we let Smokey chew on, so I'd like to warn other cat owners in Taos County about day lilies. And Dr. Schupbach tells me that there are other outdoor and indoor plants common in Taos County that can be harmful to both cats and dogs. They include certain kinds of milkweed, yews, philodendron, aloe vera, chamomile, English ivy, castor beans, tulip bulbs, cyclamen, amaryllis, chrysanthemum, nightshade, foxglove, azaleas and any member of the lily family (for instance stargazer lilies, popular for floral arrangements).

If you suspect your pet has chewed on any of these plants and is exhibiting symptoms such as vomiting, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, tremors, depression, weakness or drooling, get your pet to a veterinarian right away. For an extensive list of of plants to keep away from pets, visit ASPCA online.

– Morris and Frances Reynolds, San Cristóbal