Lily Toxicity in Dogs: Symptoms & Treatment
Decorating our homes with flowers is something most of us do. However, different flowers pose risks to our dogs. One of those flowers is the beautiful lily. In the feline kingdom and among cat owners, it is widely known that lilies are toxic to cats. Naturally, many dog owners want to know if this flower is toxic to dogs. Here’s what you should know about lily toxicity in dogs.
One of the first questions dog owners want to know the answer to is, “Are lilies toxic to dogs?” We have already established lilies are highly toxic to cats. Well, lilies are also toxic to dogs. There are different species of lilies, and not all of them are equally toxic to dogs. Some lilies will not cause severe toxicity, but they will cause gastrointestinal problems if ingested. Here are some of the types that are poisonous to dogs;
- Tiger lily
- Stargazer lily
- Peruvian lily
- Peace lily
- Leopard lily
- Japanese show lily
- Glory lily
- Easter lily
- Calla lily
Different flowers are toxic to dogs, but not all flower parts are equally toxic. Some flowers and petals are more toxic than the stem. Unfortunately, all parts are toxic to dogs when it comes to lilies. That includes leaves, stems, pollen, stamens, bulbs, petals, and sepals. However, the most toxic part of the plant is the bulb.
All part of this flower contains the poisonous substance. However, the bulb has the highest concentration of alkaloids that cause damage. If you have lilies in your garden or at home, you should make sure your dog cannot reach them. Even if you’re planting bulbs, make sure your dog won’t dig them up and eat them. It’s best to have them safely fenced off and out of your dog’s reach.
Unfortunately, even cut lilies used as decoration in bouquets are toxic to dogs. One of the most important things is to keep an eye on the dried petals that might fall. You must pick them up and throw them away somewhere your dog cannot reach them.
If a dog ingests a lily, you should waste no time. Call your vet immediately and let them know what happened. Try not to panic because you still have time to react and minimize the damage lily can cause.
We briefly mentioned lilies contain alkaloids that are toxic to dogs. These alkaloids will damage the dog’s red blood cells. In cats, lilies can cause organ failure and death. This is not common in dogs. However, organ failure can happen if the dog eats significant amounts of these flowers.
If you notice your dog eating a lily, there are a few things to think about. The severity of lily toxicity in dogs will depend on the dog’s size, the amount the dog ate, and what type of lily the dog ate. For example, Calla lily and peace lily are less toxic. However, they still release calcium oxalate crystals while chewed. Those crystals can cause burning, gastrointestinal upset, and iritations. Here’s what you should do if you suspect your dog has lily toxicity;
- Call your vet - Even if the amount is small and your dog is huge. Your vet will know what to do and give you the best advice.
- Monitor your dog - If the dog ingested only a tiny bit of the flower, chances are they’ll be ok. However, they might show signs of digestive issues.
- Take your dog to the ER - If you have a smaller dog that ate a lot of this toxic plant, you should take them to a pet ER as soon as possible.
- Take samples - If you’re not sure what kind of lily your dog ate, you should take a sample of the flower and bring it to your vet. It can help them with further treatment.
As you can imagine, eating something toxic will cause specific symptoms. It is a good idea to learn them and make sure you can notice them if the situation requires that. Here are the most common symptoms of lily toxicity in dogs;
- Loss of appetite
- Painful abdomen
- Urine discoloration
- Irregular heartbeat
- Redness of gums, eyes, tongue, and mouth
If your dog ate a lily, you’d want to know how lily toxicity is treated. Naturally, we want to know how effective and fast the treatment is. One of the first things your vet might do is induce vomiting. If the dog ate a lily fairly recently and the flower hasn’t dissolved in the dog’s stomach, this might be the best thing to do. The toxic substances will get ejected from the dog’s body, and the risk is immediately lesser.
Another step vets usually take is activated charcoal administration. Activated charcoal will bind the toxins to itself and effectively neutralize them. The vet may decide to pump the dog’s stomach and make sure the amount of toxic substances in the dog’s body is as small as possible.
The rest of the treatment can be described as supportive. The vet will try to control the dog’s symptoms and provide supportive care. That might include IV fluids for flushing the toxins and keeping the dog hydrated, anti-nausea medications for vomiting, and reducing the kidney and liver stress.
Keep in mind that lilies are not the only toxic flower, and it would be best to keep your dog safely away from them. You can find an extensive list of toxic plants to dogs here - List of All Poisonous Plants for Dogs.
World Dog Finder team