How much peace lily is toxic to dogs?
You love your dog like a child and want them to thrive. However, you may not want to mix plants and your dogs. For example, the peace lily, often considered easy to care for, might not be suitable for a house with a dog. It’s important to consider the compatibility of plants and dogs before bringing them home.
What is Peace Lily Poisoning?
Peace lily plants, a genus of flowering plants in the Araceae family, have large flat leaves and unique white flowers. They contain calcium oxalate crystals that can cause intense pain and irritation when chewed or swallowed. This pain usually prevents animals from eating the plant, and in rare cases, dogs may consume larger amounts, requiring a visit to the veterinarian’s office. The insoluble calcium oxalate crystals can cause swelling in the mouth and gastrointestinal tract.
Symptoms of Peace Lily Poisoning in Dogs
The peace lily plant contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals in all parts of the plant. When chewed or swallowed these crystals can cause:
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- Dilated eyes
- Difficulty swallowing
- Excessive drooling
- Hoarse barking
- Labored breathing
- Loss of appetite
- Numbness of exposed area
- Obstruction of the airway
- Pawing/rubbing at the face or mouth
- Swelling of the tongue and lips
Spathiphyllum plants, commonly known as peace lily or mauna loa, are a flowering genus with broad leaves and a distinctive white flower. They contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, which cause irritation in other plants, including those with similar properties.
- Arrowhead vine (Syngonium podophyllum)
- Calla or arum lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica)
- Candelabra cactus (Euphorbia lactea)
- Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestrum)
- Charming Dieffenbachia (Dieffenbachia amoena)
- Devil’s ivy (Pothos, Epipremnum)
- Elephant’s Ear (Alocasia/Caladium/Xanthosoma)
- Flamingo plant (Anthurium)
- Fruit salad plant (Monstera)
- Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)
- Peace lily (Spathiphyllum)
- Philodendron (Philodendron)
- Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum)
- Skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus)
- Wild calla (Calla)
Causes of Peace Lily Poisoning in Dogs
The peace lily contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause distress to pets. These crystals, a calcium salt of an oxalic acid, cause irritation and numbness to the tissues they contact. Chewing any part of the peace lily can cause intense pain and inflammation in the mouth and throat. The plant material or sap may also cause irritation in the throat and gastrointestinal tract, leading to internal swelling and severe pain.
Diagnosis of Peace Lily Poisoning in Dogs
Calcium oxalate crystals, found in the consumption of peace lily, can cause immediate symptoms in dogs. A preliminary diagnosis is based on the plant’s identification and the canine’s symptoms. If symptoms take up to two hours to appear, a veterinarian may recommend a visit. The doctor will gather information about opportunistic eating, concurrent supplements, and prescriptions. Urinalysis, complete blood count, and biochemistry profile will be conducted to identify any concurrent diseases or disorders. If the dog vomits from the plant material, the vomit will be visually examined and tested for toxins. Peace lily poisoning in dogs can be costly to treat, so it is essential to find the right pet insurance plan if the dog is suspected of or at risk.
Treatment of Peace Lily Poisoning in Dogs
Immediate treatment for plant material ingestion involves rinsing the mouth and affected areas with clean water to remove irritating crystals. Offering cold food or drink may help alleviate mouth pain until contacting a veterinarian. Most canines avoid consuming plant material, so rinsing may be enough. In some cases, a pain reliever or antihistamine may be recommended. If ingested large amounts, a visit to the veterinarian’s office is recommended. An antihistamine may be injected into the patient’s muscle, followed by intravenous fluid treatment to prevent dehydration. Gastroprotective medications may help prevent stomach lining damage. If the airway is exhibiting significant swelling, the dog may need to stay at the veterinary hospital for observation until swelling subsides.
Recovery of Peace Lily Poisoning in Dogs
Dogs who consume small portions of plants containing calcium oxalate crystals, like peace lily, generally have good prognosis. The painful effects dissipate within 12-24 hours. If airway swelling occurs, it should be evaluated by a professional. Massive doses are rare due to initial mouth pain. Larger amounts can cause long-term liver and kidney damage, so additional monitoring is recommended for large amounts of sap.
Other Houseplants That Are Safe for Dogs:
Consider incorporating safe houseplants into your pup’s environment instead of toxic ones.
Spider Plants: These plants are easy to care for and have cute little baby plantlets that can be propagated into their own separate plants, providing free plants forever.
Tillandsia: Commonly called air plants, these stylish plants do not require a pot or any soil to grow. You can perch them on your most moody driftwood collection or atop your favorite thrift store ceramics for an easy design feature.
- Staghorn Ferns: With beautiful leaves and fairly easy maintenance, you can mount a staghorn fern on your wall for a dramatic and pet-safe focal point.
Other Houseplants That Are Toxic for Dogs:
When purchasing a new houseplant, ensure to check its toxicity to your pets, as some popular plants can cause severe illness and should be avoided.
Cyclamen: The toxin in these plants is known as triterpenoid saponins which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and/or heart problems when ingested.
Sago Palm: These plants contain a toxin called Cycasin which can cause serious illness and even death when ingested.
Pothos: Similar to the peace lily, Pothos also contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause pain and swelling when chewed.
If you want to know the benefits of peace lily, read the article “17 incredible peace lily benefits!“
What happens if a dog eats a peace lily?
|Ingestion of peace lily can cause mouth, throat, and digestive tract pain. Seek veterinary care if your dog experiences pain, not eating, or breathing issues.|
How much of peace lily does a dog have to eat for it to be toxic?
Dogs’ consumption of food can lead to signs of toxicity due to contact issues, with more severe symptoms likely due to increased consumption.
Can dogs eat peace lilies safely?
Dogs cannot eat peace lilies safely; this is a toxic plant that should be kept away from dogs.
Are peace lilies poisonous to dogs if they smell them?
Peace lilies are not poisonous if a dog smells them. A dog must chew on the plant in order for it to have toxic effects.