Vet Blog

Easter Toxicity: Easter Lilies and the Top 5 Easter Toxin According to ASPCA

April 15, 2019

Easter is rapidly approaching and that means many people will have lilies in their homes.

Did you know lilies and animals do not mix? Lilies are known to cause kidney damage in cats and some species of lilies are toxic to dogs as well.

Pets don't have to ingest the plant itself to cause damage, the pollen from the plant or the water for the lily may also be toxic. Some animals will chew on any plants in the house as well, and this increases their chances of getting sick.

Easter Lilies are among the most harmful. The effects of lilies range from acute benign mouth irritation to gastric irritation, with the most severe cases causing renal failure and even sudden death. Signs of kidney failure are vomiting, not wanting to eat, hiding or lethargy, excessive water drinking, and excessive urination or inappropriate urination, like not going in the litter box.

Some lilies aren't "true lilies" such as the Calla lily but these can still cause problems and should be avoided. They will cause drooling or foaming at the mouth. You might even notice your pet pawing at its face or rubbing on furniture due to discomfort.

If you have lilies in your house and think your animal ingested some or even drank from the vase it is considered an emergency and you should take your pet to the vet immediately. Please know the species of lily as it may help direct the course of treatment.

There is no "minimum" amount that has to be ingested in order for a cat to get sick. Animals react differently to toxins, so some animals may have kidney damage from licking their paws after getting pollen on them and others may eat a petal and only get some GI upset, however, you should always err on the side of caution.

It is important not to wait for clinical signs to develop in your animal because sometimes when the symptoms start showing, it might be too late to reverse the damage caused by the plant.

Some safe alternatives to lilies are Sunflowers, Daisies, and Orchids. Roses are also a safe alternative to lilies and come in many colors so you can still display the nice purple and white of the holiday but in a way that won't be harmful to your furry friends.

The top five Easter toxins as reported ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center can be seen by clicking on the link here. Visiting their website and having Animal Poison Control Center's number programmed into your phone is a great idea.