Don’t you love lilies for their beautiful colours and their unique fragrances? The only problem is that they can also be poisonous! You may already know that some species are toxic to cats, but the truth is they can cause problems for dogs, too!
As a loving pet owner, you probably get the best toys, have the best dog bed and know various things that could harm your furry friends. You may keep dangerous products away, keep them inside when it’s cold, and feed them the best kind of food. But even with all of these precautions, you could have pet hazards lurking in your backyard or a vase inside your home. Do you want to protect your four-legged friend? Keep on reading to find out which varieties of lilies are poisonous to dogs, the warning signs of poisoning, and how to keep them safe!
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Are lilies poisonous to dogs?
Lilies are not only dangerous to cats but to dogs, too. While lily poisonings are rarely fatal in dogs, they can still be poisonous to our canine companions and cause an upset tummy or other uncomfortable reactions. They can even cause some more severe problems if they ingest large amounts of these plants. To protect your pets, you should be aware of lily poisoning. Here are the types of toxic lilies and non-toxic ones.
Lilies that are toxic for dogs
Most toxic lilies are varieties of the Lilium and Hemerocallis species. Here is a list of potentially fatal lilies:
- Prairie Lily: The bulbs of these lilies are the most poisonous part of the plant and can cause severe gastrointestinal upset in dogs.
- Lily of the Valley: This variety contains cardiac glycosides, which are irritants to the digestive system. If a dog eats the flowers, leaves, or roots of this plant, it can lead to diarrhoea, vomiting, slowed heart rate, seizures, and arrhythmias.
- Peace Lily(Spathiphyllum): These plants contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals that can cause mouth and GI tract irritation. It can also cause vomiting, excessive drooling, and difficulty swallowing.
- Calla Lily: This lily contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals. Even a nibble of this plant can lead to adverse symptoms, like oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, and a decreased appetite.
Other lily varieties can also prove dangerous to your dog. While our four-legged friends don’t appear to suffer kidney failure from their devour, if they eat any part of these plants, it can result in an upset stomach:
- Japanese show lily
- Asiatic hybrid lilies
- Stargazer lily
Nontoxic types of lilies
Here are some nontoxic types of lilies. Keep in mind that while they are not a significant threat, they can still cause some unpleasant reactions in dogs.
- Peruvian lily
- Tiger lily
- Easter lily
General symptoms of lily poisoning in dogs
The symptoms of lily poisoning in dogs vary depending on the type of lily they got ahold of. However, here are the most common ones:
High toxicity (glory lily, star lily, lily of the valley)
- Kidney failure
- Liver failure
- Abdominal pain
- Heart problems
Moderate toxicity (calla lily, peace lily)
- Bad breath
- Excessive drooling
Low toxicity (crinum lily, rain lily)
- Irritation of the eyes, mouth, and tongue
- Difficulty swallowing
- Lack of appetite
The symptoms will often appear within 2 hours of ingestion, so if you start to notice your doggie displaying these signs, it is time to take action.
Diagnosis of lily poisoning in dogs
Immediate treatment for true lily and poisonous plants is essential. You should bring your dog and a portion of the plant to an animal hospital or the veterinarian right away. Tell your veterinarian all the details you know about what happened, and bring your dog’s medical history.
The doctor will physically examine your dog, including blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, blood oxygen level, breath sounds, and overall appearance. Here’s what the diagnosis may also need:
- Laboratory tests
- Radiographs (x-rays)
Treatment for lily poisoning
If you think your dog has ingested a lily plant, it is a life-threatening emergency. Here’s what you should do as soon as possible:
- Call your veterinarian to know if you should induce vomiting before bringing the dog to an animal hospital.
- Contact an animal poison control centre.
- Call the nearest animal hospital or the Pet Poison Helpline/Animal PoisonLine at 01202 509000.
- It will be helpful to take a sample or a picture of the flower.
Wondering what will happen after you take your furry friend to the vet or hospital? Here is the most common lily poisoning treatment:
- To reduce the symptoms, the vet will induce vomiting in the dog using a hydrogen peroxide solution.
- The vet may also use activated charcoal to absorb the toxins and a gastric lavage to empty the stomach of any poisonous residue through the gastrointestinal tract.
- The veterinarian will also give saline 2 or 3 times within the first two days.
- If there is already renal damage, the vet will perform dialysis to prevent permanent damage to the kidneys.
- The doctor may also give additional treatment to reduce liver failure.
The best prognosis is when you treat your dog within the first 8 hours of ingestion and when there is no kidney or liver damage. If this is not the case, the prognosis may be poor, and the veterinarian may only offer supportive treatment.
Other toxic plants to dogs
Did you think that lilies are the only poisonous plants for pups? Unfortunately, there is more. The good news is that we know which are so that we can keep them far away. Visit Pet Poison Helpline’s free database or ASPCA’s list to find out more about poisonous plants for pets. Here are 20 more houseplants that pet owners should avoid to keep their dogs safe:
- Sago Palms
- Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia)
- Aloe Vera
- English ivy and Devil’s ivy/Golden pothos
- Autumn crocus
How to prevent lily poisoning
Better safe than sorry, right? That’s why we recommend no lilies in the house or on your property if you are a dog owner. If you can’t live without lilies in the house, though, make sure to keep them on a surface that is well out of reach. For example, put your lilies in a thin, tall vase so your pet won’t be able to reach them. It’s also important to discard water immediately after use.
The safest spring plants for your Dog
Don’t worry— you can still decorate your home and garden with flowers this spring. There are many safer floral alternatives to brighten up your space without putting your pet at risk. Here are some ideas:
- Gerbera Daisies
Cost of treatment
Treatment for dog lily poisoning can be quite expensive. The pet’s hospitalisation could cost hundreds of pounds. It’s important to speak openly to your vet about the treatment cost, depending on what you think is suitable for your dog. Since many plants are toxic to animals, you should also consider pet insurance for your pets. Do that the sooner you get them to ensure you have the support you may need if they ever become unwell.
Are lilies toxic to other animals?
Do you have any more pets you want to protect? Certain lilies can also prove poisonous to cats and horses. Cats must not ingest any plants of the genus Lilium and Hemerocallis. Horses should also not consume lilies of the Valley or plantain/hosta ones.
Just because a plant is beautiful doesn’t mean it’s also safe for our furry friends. Some of the prettiest flowers can be life-threatening. Now that you know which types of lilies can be hazardous to your dog keep them away. In the unfortunate case that your dog consumes one of these, make sure to contact your vet as soon as possible. Select your flowers carefully so you and your pup can both enjoy the simple pleasure that flowers bring! And remember, dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. Let’s keep them safe and happy to appreciate their love!