Peace lilies are not true lilies but are in the Araceae family. They are beautiful evergreen plants that produce creamy white spathes, similar to flowers. The presence of these plants in your home or garden may pose a risk to your pets, especially dogs that like to chew different plants in the landscape. How toxic is peace lily? Read this article for the answer and tips on how to protect your pet.
How Toxic is Peace Lily?
As glorious as peace lilies are when they are blooming, there is an underlying menace in these hooded flowering plants. The presence of peace lily and dogs can be an unfriendly equation. Is peace lily toxic to dogs? All parts of the plant, from stems to leaves and even the attractive blooms, contain an irritating toxin that can be dangerous to man's best friend, so it is best to remove or fence off an area where peace lilies grow. Peace lily isn't technically poisonous, but it contains a compound that can be extremely bothersome to pets, children, and even an adult if consumed. Even the pollen from the spadix can cause oral irritation if licked off fur and paws. The culprit is the presence of calcium oxalate crystals. These are also called raphides, and are needle sharp and shoot out of damaged parts of the plant. The crystals are insoluble and persistent when they contact tissue. The result is an inflammatory reaction, which can be mild to severe and accompanied by other symptoms.
Symptoms of Peace Lily Toxicity in Dogs
As if having an inflamed, irritated mouth, muzzle, and throat aren't enough, peace lily toxicity in dogs can also manifest several other symptoms. Animals may also get diarrhea, vomit, and exhibit excessive drooling. In severe cases, your dog may appear to have trouble breathing due to an inflamed airway. The symptoms can be very distressing but usually don't warrant a trip to your veterinarian. If the animal shows signs of airway discomfort or if symptoms persist, however, it is time to call your animal doctor and seek treatment. In most cases, the irritation is minor and home remedies can do the trick. If you are unsure what plant your dog may have eaten, it is also a good idea to seek the advice of your vet.
Treating Peace Lily Symptoms
If symptoms are mild and the dog is not in too much distress, make sure there are no plant parts still in its mouth. Try to rinse the dog’s mouth out and encourage drinking of water. Ice chips can ease the discomfort or even ice cream. If the animal is experiencing difficulty breathing, you should take it to the veterinarian. Steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs are the usual prescription. Once your animal is comfortable, take steps to remove peace lily and dogs from each other's company. Either pot up the plants and place them in a high location or simply remove them from the landscape. Determining how to deal with the problem also depends upon how successfully your dog learned from its lesson. In most cases, the animal will never go near the plant again.
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Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.
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