Lilies – Beautiful plants but lethal to your pets

Lilies - Beautiful plants but lethal to your pets


Lilies are flowering plants with rather large and beautiful large flowers. These flowers grow from bulbs and are pretty prominent. Their beauty has made them get into homes and gardens as ornamental plants.

Now, not all lilies are highly poisonous. There are many species of Lilies, and it is important to know which ones are benign and which ones are not.

Characteristics of Lilies

Lilies are tall plants that range from 2 to 6 ft. They grow bulbs on the ground and some American species have bulbs that develop into rhizomes.

The flowers of Lilies are large, some of them are fragrant, and come in a variety of colors including white, yellow, orange, pink, red, and purple. Most of the species of Lilies are native to the northern hemisphere, although some of them can be found at the northern subtropics.

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Toxicity to Pets

The level of toxicity of these plants goes from generally mild to moderate. Some benign ones include the Peruvian, Calla, and Peace. They contain insoluble oxalate crystals that cause some mild symptoms.

Other more toxic or potentially fatal ones are true lilies from the Mereocallis or Lilium species. Some of these include the Western and wood, red, stargazer, rubrum, Asiatic hybrid, Easter, tiger, day, and Japanese.

Symptoms of Consumption of Lilies

If you cat or dog were to consume a benign lily, symptoms produced by the oxalate crystals are usually minor and can be tissue irritation to the tongue, mouth, pharynx, and esophagus. Your pet will start to drool, foam, and vomit in some cases.

The potentially more fatal plants can cause severe kidney failur in cats. Even a small amount in pollen or water from the vase where these plants are kept can be fatal.

The Lily of the Valley does not cause kidney failure but it can cause heart arrhythmia and death if ingested by cats or dogs.

What to Do

If you suspect that your pet has ingested any part of a lily, bring him to veterinarian care immediately with a sample of the plant. The sooner you bring your animal to the vet the better his chances of proper medical treatment.

In Dogalize we have all the resources and information you need to take proper care of your pets. Check out everything we have by visiting us. Contact us if you have any questions or doubts.