Lily poisonous to dogs

Are Lilies Poisonous to Dogs?

Lilies aren’t just dangerous to cats—they pose a risk to dogs, too.

While lethal lily poisonings are rare in dogs, lilies are still considered to be poisonous to our canine companions. You should be aware of lily toxicity in dogs so you can help keep your pets protected.

Here’s everything you need to know about lily poisoning in dogs, including the types of toxic lilies, signs of lily toxicity and treatment methods.

Which Types of Lilies Are Poisonous to Dogs?

Steer clear of lilies in general when choosing plants for your garden or indoor décor. While not all types of lilies are highly toxic to dogs, the majority of lilies can cause an upset tummy or other uncomfortable reactions.

Lilies That Are Toxic for Dogs

Prairie Lily (Rain Lily): These types of lilies can be poisonous to dogs. The bulbs of these lilies are the most poisonous part of the plant and can cause mild to severe gastrointestinal (GI) upset in dogs.

Lily of the Valley: This plant contains cardio glycosides, which are gastrointestinal irritants. If a dog eats the leaves, flower or root of this lily, it can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, slowed heart rate, severe heart arrhythmias, seizures and, in severe cases, even death.

Peace Lily: The peace lily plant contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, which are absorbed into the skin tissue and cause mouth and GI tract irritation. If a dog chews on any part of this plant, the crystals can cause intense burning and irritation of the mouth, tongue and lips. It can also cause excessive drooling, vomiting and difficulty swallowing.

Calla Lily: Similar to the peace lily, the calla lily also contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals. Even just a nibble of this plant can lead to exposure to the crystals and adverse symptoms. The crystals can cause oral irritation, excessive drooling, difficulty swallowing, vomiting and a decreased appetite.

If you suspect that your dog has ingested or chewed on any of these types of lilies, take them to your veterinarian.

Nontoxic Types of Lilies

The Peruvian lily, tiger lily, daylily and Easter lily are all classified as nontoxic to dogs.

While these types of lilies may be classified as nontoxic, they can still cause unpleasant reactions in a dog. The introduction of any new, novel foods into any pet’s diet can cause GI upset.

At the end of the day, it is best to keep any plants in your home out of reach of your pets.

General Symptoms of Lily Poisoning in Dogs

The symptoms of lily poisoning in dogs will vary depending on which type of lily they got ahold of. If you are not sure which lily your dog ingested, the most common symptoms to look for include:

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Decreased appetite

  • Excessive drooling

  • Pawing at the face due to oral irritation (limited to calla lilies and peace lilies)

  • Heart problems are possible with ingestion of lily of the valley

Symptoms will often start within two hours of ingestion, so if you start to notice your pup displaying these signs, it is time to call your veterinarian.

Treatment

Treatment will depend upon how long ago the ingestion occurred, what type of lily it was and your dog’s clinical signs.

If you are certain the ingestion occurred within an hour and you can’t get to the vet quickly, your veterinarian may recommend that you induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide to help remove the irritants. Call your veterinarian prior to inducing vomiting, and let them prescribe the correct and safe dose.

If you can get your dog to veterinarian quickly, the vet can safely administer hydrogen peroxide or apomorphine. Apomorphine works like an eye drop and induces vomiting in dogs.

If it has been over an hour since ingestion, a veterinarian may administer activated charcoal to help absorb the toxins and remove them from the body. Blood work will likely need to be evaluated to watch for any organ toxicity.

Additional medications to protect the GI tract and organs may be administered, along with IV fluids to dilute the poison that may have been absorbed.

Ingesting most lilies won’t necessitate hospitalization for dogs; however, lily of the valley is the most likely exception. In these cases, hospitalization for a day or two may be recommended.

By: Laci Schaible, DVM, CVJ

Featured Image: iStock.com/Bogdan Kurylo

Peace Lily And Dogs – Is Peace Lily Toxic To Dogs

Peace lilies are not true lilies but in the Araceae family. They are beautiful evergreen plants that produce creamy white spathes, similar to flowers. The presence of these plants in your home or garden may pose a risk to your pets, especially dogs that like to chew different plants in the landscape. How toxic is peace lily? Read this article for the answer and tips on how to protect your pet.

How Toxic is Peace Lily?

As glorious as peace lilies are when they are blooming, there is an underlying menace in these hooded flowering plants. The presence of peace lily and dogs can be an unfriendly equation. Is peace lily toxic to dogs? All parts of the plant, from stems to leaves and even the attractive blooms, contain an irritating toxin that can be dangerous to man’s best friend, so it is best to remove or fence off an area where peace lilies grow.

Peace lily isn’t technically poisonous, but it contains a compound that can be extremely bothersome to pets, children and even an adult if consumed. Even the pollen from the spadix can cause oral irritation if licked off fur and paws. The culprit is the presence of calcium oxalate crystals. These are also called raphides, and are needle sharp and shoot out of damaged parts of the plant. The crystals are insoluble and persistent when they contact tissue. The result is an inflammatory reaction, which can be mild to severe and accompanied by other symptoms.

Symptoms of Peace Lily Toxicity in Dogs

As if having an inflamed, irritated mouth, muzzle and throat aren’t enough, peace lily toxicity in dogs can also manifest several other symptoms. Animals may also get diarrhea, vomit and exhibit excessive drooling. In severe cases, your dog may appear to have trouble breathing due to an inflamed airway.

The symptoms can be very distressing but usually don’t warrant a trip to your veterinarian. If the animal shows signs of airway discomfort or if symptoms persist, however, it is time to call your animal doctor and seek treatment. In most cases, the irritation is minor and home remedies can do the trick. If you are unsure what plant your dog may have eaten, it is also a good idea to seek the advice of your vet.

Treating Peace Lily Symptoms

If symptoms are mild and the dog is not in too much distress, make sure there are no plant parts still in its mouth. Try to rinse the dog’s mouth out and encourage drinking of water. Ice chips can ease the discomfort or even ice cream.

If the animal is experiencing difficulty breathing, you should take it to the veterinarian. Steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs are the usual prescription.

Once your animal is comfortable, take steps to remove peace lily and dogs from each other’s company. Either pot up the plants and place them in a high location or simply remove them from the landscape. Determining how to deal with the problem also depends upon how successfully your dog learned from its lesson. In most cases, the animal will never go near the plant again.

Lily Poisoning in Cats

Lily Nephrotoxicity

There are many different species of plants called “lily”: Easter lily, day lily, Asiatic lily, tiger lily, peace lily, calla lily, and lily of the valley, among others. And though they may be beautiful to look at, a cat could die of kidney failure if he should eat any part of these toxic species and not receive treatment immediately. In fact, as little as two leaves can make your cat sick, and if left untreated, can become fatal in as little as three days.

What to Watch For

  • Drooling
  • Vomiting (pieces of plant in the vomitus)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased urination, followed by lack of urination after 1 to 2 days
  • Dehydration

Primary Cause

When determining if a lily plant you want or have is toxic, always look at the scientific name of the plant. The scientific name is a two-part name: the “first name,” which is capitalized, is the genus; the “second name” is the species, and it is not capitalized. You may see additional names following the first and second; these are subdivisions of the species and are not important for determining toxicity. The second name is sometimes abbreviated sp. or spp. This means that the actual species has not been identified. Sometimes the first name is abbreviated, usually with just the first letter of the name. This is usually done when there is a list of several species from the same genus.

The lily plants of greatest concern are any from the genus Lilium (Lilium sp.), which includes Easter lilies, tiger lilies, and Asiatic lilies, and any from the genus Hemerocallis (Hemerocallis sp.), which includes day lilies.

Immediate Care

  1. If your cat has recently eaten a lily and has not vomited, call your veterinarian to see if you should induce vomiting before bringing her to an animal hospital.
  2. Call the nearest animal hospital or the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-855-213-6680.
  3. The sooner she gets treatment, the better her chances are for survival. And if you can, bring a piece of the lily plant to the hospital.

Veterinary Care

Diagnosis

Finding a chewed-on lily plant or pieces of plant in the vomit allows for a definitive diagnosis. Because the toxic principle in lilies attacks the kidneys, blood and urine tests will be taken to evaluate kidney function.

Treatment

If your cat has only recently ingested the plant material and has still not vomited, your veterinarian will try to induce vomiting. Activated charcoal will be given orally to absorb any toxin that might remain in the gut. The key to survival is high volumes of fluids given intravenously (IV) to try and prevent dehydration and the kidneys shutting down. The fluids will be given for 1 to 2 days, while monitoring your cat’s kidneys as well as urine output. Lack of urine production is a sign that the treatment was unsuccessful.

Other Causes

Calla or arum lilies (Zantedeschia aethiopica) and peace lilies (Spathiphyllum sp.) contain crystals that are extremely irritating to the mouth and digestive tract, causing drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea; however, they do not affect the kidneys.

Lily of the valley (Convalaria majalis) affects the heart, causing irregular heartbeat and low blood pressure, and can progress to seizures or coma.

Living and Management

If treatment is successful, there are no reported long-term consequences. Monitor your cat for changes in his urination habits, especially frequency of urination.

Prevention

If at all possible, do not have lilies in your house, not even as cut flowers. If you do have lilies in the house, make sure your cat cannot reach them and inform everyone in your household of the dangers lilies pose to the cat.

Cats are less likely to chew on lilies in your yard, especially if there are more appealing things to chew on, like grass and catnip; however, it is best not to have any lilies in your yard.

5 Deadly Flowers

It has been in the headlines recently that a gardener collapsed and tragically died after coming into contact with the deadly Wolfsbane plant – according to the coroner.

After attending to the garden as part of a huge estate, Nathan Greenaway collapsed and was rushed to the hospital.

After numerous blood tests and examinations, doctors were unable to establish the cause. Unfortunately, Mr. Greenaway died shortly afterward.

There are many cases around the world where people have been harmed and even killed by certain deadly flowers.

As children, we were warned by parents of the nettles that may sting you and the poisonous mushrooms that may make you ill – but even in adult life, there are potential hazards.

In order to understand and recognize the most deadly flowers around the world, here is a list of the top five:

1. English broom

The English broom is native to England and can also be found in central Europe. This beautiful yellow bloom almost looks like a bunch of small bananas but, it is dangerous. Its scientific name is cytisus scoparius and contains a number of toxic chemicals which affect your heart and can ultimately stop your nervous system and your heart beat. This flower is thought to be considerably dangerous to both children and pregnant women.

2. Monkshood

Its scientific name is: Aconitum (pictured) and is often found in Western Europe. This is one of the most poisonous flowers known to man. With its beautiful purple coloring and elegant appearance, the Monkshood is extremely toxic. It contains very large quantities of the poison named: pseudaconitine. If this poison is digested into the human body it will lead to instant death – by merely touching it, you will go numb.

3. White snakeroot

These flowers are beautiful, delicate and look like something out of a Christmas film. However, they are far from harmless. Their scientific name is: ageratina altissima and originate from North America. The plant contains the poison named: tremetol that is fatal to humans.

4. Foxgloves

These are also known as dead man’s bells – this is one of the most beautiful flowers but also one of the most dangerous. The symptoms this plant can cause include: nausea, convulsions, delirium and tremors. Every part of the flower, from the petals to the roots is poisonous.

5. Lily of the valley

The scientific name for this is known as: Convallaria majalis. This is a highly poisonous plant and is often found in both Asia and Europe. It comes with beautiful bell shaped flowers which are highly attractive however, contains violent toxins which can stop the heart beating.

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13 poisonous plants your toddler should watch out for

Serious poisoning by plants is not common in the UK. Some garden plants present a hazard, but the risk of severe poisoning, skin reaction or allergy is generally low.

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MadeForMums got the low-down on some common plants that could pose a risk from Guy Barter, chief horticultural advisor for the Royal Horticultural Society as well as from Miranda Janatka at BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine.

“Certain plants have the potential to cause harm, but hardly ever do,” says Guy. “Remember, it’s not just children but also pets that can be vulnerable, too.”

“The vast majority of accidents in the garden involve falling off ladders and hardly anyone gets hurt by plants. It’s more a question of awareness and educating children about plants,” says Guy.

Miranda adds that “all plants, unless known to be edible, should be assumed harmful”.

13 poisonous plants your toddler should watch out for…

One mum is warning against the dangers of hogweed after her son suffered serious, painful burn-like blisters on his hands and arms, says the Mail Online.

While it’s a pretty plant (often found beside riverbanks and along paths), the sap is toxic. It can causes the aforementioned blistering and extreme sensitivity to sunlight. If it gets in the eyes, it can cause blindness.

Avoid touching or even playing near hogweed. If your child comes into contact with the plant, the NHS website advises:

“If you touch a giant hogweed, cover the affected area, and wash it with soap and water. The blisters heal very slowly and can develop into phytophotodermatitis, a type of skin rash which flares up in sunlight. If you feel unwell after contact with giant hogweed, speak to your doctor.”

2. Bluebell

“If eaten, they could cause harm and sickness,” Guy says. “The bulbs could be mistaken for garlic or a spring onion.”

“It has been reported that the sap can cause skin irritation and dermatitis, but I haven’t come across any instances of this actually happening in practice.”

3. Chilli peppers

“Chilli peppers are a tasty vegetable, but as anyone who has chopped up a chilli and rubbed their eye knows, it can be extremely painful,” says Guy.

“They are a skin and eye irritant, they might burn tender skin and can be transferred to eyes and lips on the fingers,” he adds.

“Children could be vulnerable if not taught about avoiding and taking care with washing hands after handling chillis.”

4. Lily-of-the-valley

“This is one of those plants you might find around the garden and mistake for something else, and it’s poisonous if eaten, but you’d have to eat an awful lot of it,” says Guy.

“If eaten, it can cause nausea, vomiting, visual disorders and heart problems,” he explains.

5. Aconitum napellus

Aconitum napellus goes by many other names – including monkshood, wolfsbane, leopard’s bane, mousebane, women’s bane, devil’s helmet, queen of poisons and blue rocket.

This is widely planted, Miranda tells us – ‘”but can be deadly”.

The RHS website confirms that every part of this plant is toxic if eaten.

6. Foxglove

“Foxgloves are well-known to have an effect on the heart,” says Guy

“There’s a material in them called digitoxin, which is actually used in medicines for heart failure, but it can be poisonous if eaten,” says Guy.

“It’s very unwise to eat a foxglove and, bear in mind, the pollen also contains the poisonous material so it’s particularly important to wash anything growing near them, if you grow vegetables, for example, wash before you eat them.”

“If eaten it slows your heart rate down and makes your heart contract in uncoordinated ways and you would have a heart attack,” says Guy.“It is very rare, but it’s important to remember that the potential for harm is there.”

7. Euphorbias also know as spurges (including poinsettia)

“Euphorbias are a very common wild flower and garden plant, and poinsettias are a type of euphorbia that are very widely sold,” says Guy.

“Like all spurges, the sap can be irritant to skin, eyes and lips and needs to be avoided, but there is no risk from the foliage or being in the same room as the plant,” he explains.

“Although not terribly poisonous, it would be unwise to consume the foliage as it can be an extreme irritant,” he adds.

“Euphorbias and garden spurges can be very irritant if ingested, and the white sap can badly irritate the skin. In comparison, Poinsettias, compared with other euphorbias, are still an irritant but relatively mild.”

8. Caster oil plant (Ricinus Communis)

The seeds from the castor been plant are poisonous to people, animals and insects – and so this is one plant Gardeners’ World Magazine’s Miranda suggested we have on the list.

Castor beans contain ricin – one of the most toxic substances known.

There is no specific treatment except for support to reduce the load of the toxin – but it is far better not to eat this plant at all.

  • Read a case of castor bean poisoning on the National Centre for Biotechnology Information website

9. Hyacinth

“The bulbs tend to be skin irritants,” says Guy. “They contain oxalic acid, which is also found in rhubarb, and would give you a stomach upset if you ate them.”

“The are potentially harmful,” says Guy. “The flowers and the foliage are not reported to be bad, but it wouldn’t do you much good if consumed.”

10. Morning Glory

“They contain alkaloids, which can have a toxic effect, and they can also be psychoactive so can cause hallucinations. As a result, you need to be careful of them,” says Guy.

“So be careful of the foliage and the seeds, but there’s nothing reported about skin contact.”

11. Iris

“Irises have the potential to cause harm,” says Guy. “Some of them have interesting seeds and seed pods that may attract the attention of children.”

“It may be wise to pull the seeds off if you have children around as they can be a skin irritant,” he says.

“It’s reported that if ingested, they can cause sickness, nausea and diarrohea, although I haven’t heard of an instance of this happening,” Guy explains.

12. Ivy

“Ivy can cause skin irritation and any part of the plant is potentially harmful,” says Guy. “The seeds look very attractive at the time of year when there aren’t many berries about so they might catch the attention of children,” Guy explains.

“Children shouldn’t touch Ivy, it can cause skin irritation and I would strongly advise against eating the berries,” says Guy. “Eating the berries can cause a burning sensation in the throat and can cause nausea, and eating the foliage can cause a fever.”

13. Horse chestnut

“It’s the seeds that are attractive and kids might be tempted to eat them thinking they are sweet chestnuts,” says Guy.

“Children should be told to enjoy playing with conkers but not to chew on the seeds,” he adds.

“Poisonous when eaten, they can cause sickness, but there’s no harm in touching them so there’s no reason for children not to play conkers with them,” he explains.

“With a plant, unless you’re reasonably well-informed, you can’t be sure if they are safe, so we always say play safe and, if you’re not sure it’s edible, don’t eat it.”

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Can Lilies Kill Your Pet?

As a loving pet owner, you’ve probably become aware of the various things in your environment that could be harmful to your furry friend. You may keep a watchful eye to keep him or her inside to stay safe, keep dangerous products away, and feed only the best kind of food. But even with all of these precautions, you could have pet killers lurking in your backyard where Mr. FuzzyPaws plays. Did you know that many varieties of lilies are poisonous to dogs and cats? Read on to learn the warning signs, how to spot a poisonous lily, and how to keep your cat safe.

Keeping Your Cat Safe From Lilies

There are lilies out there that are benign to pets in general. But there are also varieties that could cause vomiting, lethargy, dehydration, seizures, and even death. Every dog and cat owner should know the difference between a harmless lily and one that could be lethal.

Lilies that don’t pose a threat to cats include:

  • Peace
  • Peruvian
  • Calla

It’s important to note that these benign lilies can still irritate your pet if ingested. Insoluble oxalate crystals in these lilies could cause your dog or cat to drool, paw at his mouth, foam at the mouth, or vomit because of tissue irritation. On the spectrum of harm, however, this is far less than the lilies that are poisonous to cats.

Potentially fatal lilies include:

  • Lilium species and Hemerocallis species
  • Tiger
  • Day
  • Asiatic hybrid
  • Easter
  • Japanese Show
  • Rubrum
  • Stargazer
  • Red
  • Western
  • Wood
  • Lily of the Valley

All of these are “true” lilies, meaning that they have Lilium or Hemerocallis in their Latin names. Even small ingestion of these lilies could cause toxic shock in your pet—even a small drink of the water a lily was in or smelling the pollen and then licking their nose (more so with cats and smaller dogs).

How to Prevent Lily Poisoning

For pet owners, we recommend no lilies in the house or on the property. Better safe than sorry in all circumstances. If you do have lilies in the house, keep them on a surface that is well out of reach and discard water immediately after use. Put lilies in a tall, thin vase so if your pet does try to drink the water, he or she likely won’t be able to reach it.

Signs to Watch Out For

If you believe that your cat or dog has ingested any part of a lily or has drunk water from a vase of lilies, call your vet immediately. A veterinarian can perform a full examination and keep your pet from the scary effects of poisoning.

Call your vet right away if your cat exhibits any of these warning signs.

  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Hiding
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Dehydration
  • Uncontrolled urination
  • Seizures

The final result of uncontrolled lily poisoning can be deadly. The early stages of lily poisoning can be stopped through decontamination (induced vomiting). Your vet may decide to give your pet intravenous fluids, monitor kidney function, and perform various tests to keep them healthy and ensure a full recovery. React quickly; measures taken in the first 18 hours are the most likely to result in a good outcome for your cat.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s health, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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