If you have a green thumb and furry friends that like to sample your floral bouquets, you might be in for trouble. Many common household plants can pose a risk to our pets. In this post, we’ll be talking about lilies specifically.
The risk to dogs comes from eating any “true lily” or plants from the genus “Lilium”. Don’t worry if you’re not sure how to identify those specific flowers because we’re going to do it for you.
Keep reading to learn more about true lilies, why they’re dangerous for pets, and what might happen if your dog ingests one.
Surprising Facts About Lily Toxicity in Dogs
Here are some key facts about lily toxicity in dogs:
- Even lilies that are not considered “toxic” can still irritate the gut lining and cause mild vomiting or diarrhea
- Calla and Peace Lilies are especially toxic for dogs. When chewed, they can cause burning and irritation inside of the dog’s mouth, on the lips, and on the skin. This is because they contain calcium oxalate crystals that can irritate body tissues.
- Lily of the Valley can trigger a fatal arrhythmia in dogs.
- Day lilies and Easter Lilies may cause mild stomach upset including vomiting and diarrhea.
Which Lilies Are Toxic to Dogs and Which Ones Are Not?
Peace Lily (Toxic)
Peace lilies (Spathiphyllum spp.) are toxic to dogs. There are a few reports of mild digestive upset in dogs and cats who have ingested peace lily leaves or flowers, but serious illness or death is not expected.
This plant contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals which are absorbed into the skin tissue. It can cause mouth and gastrointestinal irritation in dogs.
Calla Lily (Toxic)
The calla lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica), especially the lily tuber, is toxic to dogs.
Ingestion of any part of the calla lily plant can lead to symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and tremors. In severe cases, ingestion of the calla lily can be fatal to dogs.
Easter Lily (Not Toxic)
Although not considered toxic to dogs, these types of lilies can still cause uncomfortable gastrointestinal upset in dogs.
Peruvian Lily (Not Toxic)
Peruvian lilies (Alstroemeria spp.) are not toxic to dogs. That said, they can still cause unpleasant gastrointestinal upset.
Tiger Lily (Not Toxic)
The tiger lily is classified as nontoxic to dogs, but they can still cause unpleasant symptoms if ingested.
Cats, on the other hand, can experience decreased activity levels, excessive drooling, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
Japanese Show Lilies (toxic)
Japanese show lilies (Lilium lancifolium) are toxic to dogs and can cause severe kidney failure if ingested. Even small amounts of the plant, such as the pollen or a small piece of leaf, can be dangerous to dogs.
Here is a list of some common symptoms of Japanese show lily poisoning in dogs:
- Loss of appetite
- Changes in urine output or color
- Abdominal pain
Cats may be more seriously affected by ingesting the Japanese show lily.
Asiatic Lilies (Toxic)
Ingestion of Asiatic lilies (also known as Easter lilies as seen above) can be potentially deadly for dogs and can cause severe kidney damage.
If you suspect that your dog has ingested any part of a lily plant, it is important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible.
Symptoms of lily poisoning in dogs may include:
- Vomiting (often the first symptom to appear)
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty urinating
These symptoms can develop rapidly after a dog ingests a lily plant, so it is important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible if you suspect that your dog has ingested a lily. Early treatment can improve the chances of a full recovery.
Stargazer (Not Toxic)
There is no evidence to suggest that the Stargazer lily is toxic to dogs. However, be wary if you are a cat owner as this type of lily can be toxic to cats.
Leopard lily is a common name for a number of different plants, including:
This is a species of lily that is native to the western United States. It is also known as the California leopard lily or the leopard lily.
This is a species of lily that is native to Asia. It is also known as the tiger lily or the leopard lily.
This is a species of daylily that is native to Europe and Asia. It is also known as the tawny daylily or the leopard lily.
This is a species of flowering plant that is native to the western United States. It is also known as the chocolate lily or the leopard lily.
It is important to note that these plants may have different characteristics and may be toxic to different degrees.
If you are unsure which plant you are dealing with, it is a good idea to consult with a plant expert or a veterinarian for more information.
Lily of the Valley (Toxic)
Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis) is toxic to dogs.
All parts of the plant, including the leaves, stem, flowers, and berries, contain toxins that can be harmful to dogs if ingested. Lily of the Valley is a toxic plant that can cause serious symptoms in dogs, including vomiting, diarrhea, cardiac arrhythmias, and difficulty breathing.
Ingestion of even a small amount of Lily of the Valley plant material can be dangerous for dogs. Signs of poisoning may occur within a few hours of ingestion and may include:
- loss of appetite
In severe cases, the toxins in the plant can affect the heart and respiratory system, causing heart arrhythmias and difficulty breathing.
Heart arrhythmias are abnormal heart rhythms that can cause the heart to beat too fast, too slowly, or irregularly.
These arrhythmias can range from minor to severe and can be potentially life-threatening.
In dogs, Lily of the Valley poisoning can cause heart arrhythmias that may manifest as a rapid or irregular heartbeat, weakness, collapse, or even sudden death.
Prairie Lily or Rain Lily (Toxic)
The prairie lily, also known as the wild onion or wild garlic (Allium canadense), is toxic to dogs. The most toxic part of the plant is the bulb.
These plants contain compounds that can cause damage to a dog’s red blood cells, leading to anemia. Symptoms of anemia in dogs may include weakness, lethargy, loss of appetite, and breathing difficulties.
Treating Lily Toxicity in Dogs
The specific treatment for lily poisoning will depend on the type and severity of the symptoms, as well as the amount of the plant that was ingested.
Medications to control vomiting and diarrhea
Depending on the severity of the symptoms, your veterinarian may prescribe medications to help control vomiting and diarrhea.
In cases of severe dehydration or low blood pressure, your veterinarian may recommend intravenous fluids to help support your dog’s hydration and blood pressure.
Other supportive care
Your veterinarian may recommend other supportive care measures depending on your dog’s specific needs. This may include medications to control pain, drugs to help support the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, or oxygen therapy.
In severe cases of lily poisoning, hospitalization may be necessary to provide intensive treatment and monitoring.
It is important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions carefully and to keep all follow-up appointments to ensure that your dog’s condition is properly managed.
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It’s important to note that all plants have the potential to cause some level of digestive upset if ingested by pets, and it’s always a good idea to keep plants out of reach of pets to prevent accidental ingestion.
Regardless of what you read here, if you believe your dog is suffering from toxicity after coming in contact with a houseplant, you should contact your veterinarian ASAP or Animal Poison Control at (855) 764-7661.