Lily of the Valley – It’s Poisonous Effects on Your Pets

Lily of the Valley - It's Poisonous Effects on Your Pets

Lily of the Valley

The Lily of the Valley is a highly poisonous flowering plant native to the Northern Hemisphere in Europe and Asia. It also goes by the names May bell, Mary’s tears, and Our Lady’s tears.

This plant spreads with bulbs underground. The flowers are characteristically bell-shaped, sweet-smelling and turn into berries in the late spring and summer.

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Characteristics of Lily of the Valley

The Lily of the Valley is not a true Lily. It can grow pretty well in the shade. They spread quickly and grow up to 1 foot in height. The flower of the Lily of the Valley bloom in April or May. These flowers are a distinctive showy white color and a sweet aroma.

The flowers are bell-shaped and hang down the plant’s stem for about three weeks, time after which they die.

Toxicity to Dogs and Cats

The level of toxicity of these plants is classified as generally moderate to severe. They will not cause a kidney failure on your pet but they are still considered lethal.

The entire plant has toxic levels of cardiac glycosides, being the bulb the part that has the highest concentration of it. Some serious life-threatening symptoms may arise within hours of consumption of the bulb.

About 40 different glycosides have been isolated from the Lily of the Valley. But the plant also contains saponins which are not only toxic to dogs and cats but to children as well if they are eaten.


The symptoms of poisoning in dogs and cats will vary depending on the part of the plant being eaten and the amount eaten. A cat or a small dog can suffer serious cardiac damage if they eat a bulb.

The following are some of the symptoms that can be observed in an animal that has suffered poisoning from the Lily of the Valley:

Pets that have been exposed to this plant should be examined by a veterinarian and treated. Stay with us here in Dogalize and check out all the great resources we have for you. We have a comprehensive collection of information, tips, tricks, and everything you need to know about your dog and/or cat.