As Easter traditions near, Easter lilies (Lilium longiflorum) and many other forms of lilies will begin to appear in bouquets, so this is a good time to spread the word about an often unknown fact.
Some Flowers in the Lilium Family Are Extremely Toxic to Pets
The Lilium family has many types of lily flowers, and it is very important to know which ones can cause acute kidney failure or serious heart problems for your pet.
All plants in the genus Lilium and Hemerocallis (Day Lilies) are toxic to cats. This includes Tiger (Lilium lancifolium), Easter (Lilium Longiflorum, and Stargazer (Lilium Orientalis) lilies. Every part of these plants is toxic to a cat, even the vase of water has enough toxin to cause kidney failure. These lilies are fairly non-toxic to dogs, although they can cause an upset stomach for canines like any non-toxic plant would.
Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis) is a cardio-toxin so it can cause serious heart problems in BOTH dogs and cats. It doesn't bother the kidneys. As little as two leaves of the plant can be a fatal dose to pets and even young children! Read more at Gardening Know How: Is Lily Of The Valley Poisonous: Understanding Lily Of The Valley Toxicity
If cats or dogs chew on some lilies, it might just make them vomit (as they would from any non-toxic plant). This includes Peruvian Lilies (Alstroemeria) which are very common in "last-minute" flower bouquets from grocery or drug stores. Peace Lilies (Spathiphyllum) and Calla (Zantedeschia aethiopica) Lilies are also benign.
Other Toxic Plants
The toxicity of other plants is often in question. Top searches on https://www.aspca.org include Sago Palms, Tulips, and Azaleas.
- Additional Common Names: Coontie Palm, Cardboard Palm, Cycads, and Zamias
- Scientific Name: Cycas revoluta, zamia species
- Family: Cycadaceae
- Toxicity: Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Cats
- Clinical Signs: Vomiting, melena, icterus, increased thirst, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, bruising, coagulopathy, liver damage, liver failure, death.
- Scientific Name: Tulipa spp.
- Family: Liliaceae
- Toxicity: Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Horses
- Clinical Signs: Vomiting, depression, diarrhea, hypersalivation.
- The highest concentration of toxin in the bulb.
- Scientific Name: Lilium species
- Family: Liliaceae
- Toxicity: Toxic to Cats, Non-Toxic to Dogs
- Clinical Signs: Cats - kidney failure
Do You Suspect Your Pet May Have Ingested a Potentially Toxic Plant?
The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) is a great resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially toxic plant, call (888) 426-4435 or contact your local veterinarian as soon as possible. Bees Ferry Veterinary Hospital serves Charleston area pet owners both at our West Ashley location and via our mobile unit. We would be happy to answer any questions that you have about plant toxicity to pets.