Many people still do not know lilies can be very toxic to our cats. Some lilies are benign and others can be extremely dangerous if ingested by our feline friends. The benign lilies include: Calla lilies, Peruvian lilies, and Peace lilies. These lilies usually cause drooling or foaming at the mouth, pawing at the mouth, and even transient vomiting. These signs are due to the insoluble oxalate crystals that cause oral/pharyngeal irritant and the signs can be greatly reduced by oral decontamination.
The more dangerous lilies on the list that can cause life ending kidney failure are: Day lily, Asiatic lily, Tiger lily, Easter lily, Stargazer, Red, Western lilies, Wood lilies, and the Japanese lily. Kidney failure in cats has been reported from animals ingesting as low a dose as one leaf or petal and even drinking the water from the vase they reside in.
The acute kidney failure can presents the following clinical signs: Inappetance, depression, vomiting, increased water consumption, and even seizures. Although the diagnosis of acute kidney failure holds a guarded prognosis for many animals; a lot of animals can be pulled out of the kidney failure through aggressive emergency medical management and hospitalization on IV fluids for at least 3 days and many up to 7 days.
The Lily of the Valley does not cause kidney failure but can still be lethal to both dogs and cats as it can cause serious life threatening heart arrhythmias.
The peace lily, calla lily, amaryllis, autumn crocus, and the palm lily can all be toxic to dogs. Fortunately the toxicity is not lethal and usually will only cause gastrointestinal upset, depression, anorexia, and tremors. These signs can be reduced greatly with timely IV fluid support and anti-nausea medications.
If you feel your animal has ingested any of the lilies listed above or any other potentially toxic plants please do not hesitate to contact us at the Blue Sky Veterinary Clinic or the Animal Emergency Center of Central Oregon. If you are uncertain of the plant – please bring the plant or a phot of the plant ingested. Both clinics have access to pet poison hotlines and can help assists in identification and prognosis while initiating the decontamination process.