- Baby’s breath*
- Daisy (Gerbera and others)
- Chrysanthemum a.k.a. Mums*
- Peruvian Lily (Alstroemeria species)*
- Spring crocus
*These plants may cause more gastrointestinal irritation or upset (drooling, vomiting, and/or diarrhea) than others on the list but are not expected to cause severe poisoning (i.e. kidney, liver, or nervous system effects).
Other Highly Toxic Lilies
(risk to dogs, cats, and people)
Other types of dangerous “lily” plants include the lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) and gloriosa or flame lily (Gloriosa superba). Lily of the valley contains cardenolides or digitalis like toxins which do not cause kidney failure, but may cause life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias and death when ingested by dogs, cats, or people. Equally toxic to all animals is the gloriosa lily. The toxic agent is colchicine (toxic to rapidly dividing cells); the roots or tubers may contain enough toxins to cause serious multi-system organ failure in cats and dogs that chew on them. Early and aggressive therapy is generally needed when these plants are ingested.
Less Harmful Lilies
(risk to dog and cats)
Less serious consequences occur when pets chew or swallow plant pieces from “lilies” such as the calla lily (Zantedeschia spp.) and peace lily (Spathiphyllum spp.) which contain insoluble oxalate crystals that are direct irritants to the mouth, tongue, throat, and esophagus. Drooling, foaming, or pawing at the mouth, vocalization, and vomiting are commonly reported when pets chew on these plants; respiratory distress due to swelling of the airway can occur but is more rare. The Peruvian lily (Alstroemeria spp.) contains tulipalin A, a toxin that may cause gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting or diarrhea if ingested in large amounts. None of these lilies cause acute kidney failure in cats like the Lilium or Hemerocallis (daylily) species.
What to do if your pet eats a lily?
Cats and other pets consuming any part of a “lily” plant may need immediate veterinary medical care. In order to quickly assess the severity of the situation, pet owners should call Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661) or bring the animal and plant to their veterinarian as soon as possible. Early identification of the specific lily and appropriate treatment will usually prevent most undesirable outcomes.