Are Calla Lily Leaves Poisonous to Dogs

Dogs are wonderful companions, but they do have specific needs. While you shouldn’t need to change your entire garden to make it pet-safe, some plants (and their leaves) are poisonous to dogs, so it’s best to remove than as soon as possible. But are calla lily leaves poisonous to dogs?

Calla lily leaves (and all parts of the calla lily plant) are poisonous to dogs. Like other types of lilies, these plants contain calcium oxalate crystals that can irritate a dog’s sensitive nasal, throat, and stomach linings. Seek immediate veterinary care if you’re dog is exposed to calla lilies.

This article will discuss the symptoms to watch for if you suspect your dog has eaten or been near calla lily leaves. We’ll also address how to respond to calla lily leaf poisoning and other plants to keep away from dogs.

Signs of Calla Lily Leaf Poisoning in Dogs

After dogs ingest part of a calla lily plant, they can experience irritation in their throat, nose, lungs, and stomach. This irritation can elicit a wide range of visible and biological directions, including:

  • Vomiting
  • Excessive salivation
  • Lethargy

If your dog has been near calla lilies and is exhibiting these symptoms, you’ll want to seek emergency medical care. Let’s look closely at each symptom to understand how calla lily leaves cause such distress.

How Calla Lily Leaves Cause Vomiting

When your dog chows down on calla lily leaves, they ingest more than plant cellulose and chlorophyll. Calla lily leaves (and other parts of the plant) contain a substance called calcium oxalate.

This substance has a crystal-like structure, much like salt. Importantly, calcium oxalate resists digestion, allowing it to build up quickly, especially in smaller mammals like dogs and cats. It also has a rigid, spiky structure that can cause damage to soft, sensitive tissues like the inside of the mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines.

If your dog consumes a plant that contains calcium oxalate, like calla lilies, it can experience extreme discomfort and digestive upset. Sometimes, your pup might vomit after eating the calcium oxalate crystals in calla lily leaves.

The digestive issues stem from the sharp structure of the crystals, which can irritate the stomach lining, as well as the high concentration of indigestible calcium.

How Calla Lily Leaves Cause Excessive Salivation

If you’ve ever felt nauseated, you’ve likely experienced sudden and excessive salivation. Eating spicy foods can also trigger this reaction. Excessive salivation can be uncomfortable, but it’s a crucial reaction to irritating substances.

When a dog munches on calla lily leaves, the calcium oxalate crystals in those leaves can create microscopic wounds inside the mouth. These wounds can trigger the salivary glands to react, as the saliva produced may “wash away” the irritating substance.

This reaction is similar to the one you experience when a piece of dirt or sand gets caught in your eye. In this instance, your body produces tears to help remove the irritating substance.

But nausea caused by calcium oxalate ingestion can also cause excessive salivation. When the body prepares to vomit, it generates excess saliva to help the offending substance exit the body quickly.

This is true of dogs and humans, which is why you may notice your pup salivating uncontrollably after eating calla lily leaves.

How Calla Lily Leaves Cause Lethargy

Lethargy, or excessive tiredness, is a common side-effect of calla lily leaf poisoning in dogs. This symptom typically exhibits several hours after initial ingestion and often follows other symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive salivation.

It’s not hard to understand why this plant’s leaves can eventually lead to lethargy in dogs. After all, if you’re feeling nauseous and uncomfortable, you’ll likely want to lie down and sleep away the discomfort. Dogs have a similar reaction.

Pups can also develop lethargy due to dehydration, especially after prolonged bouts of vomiting and diarrhea. Replacing this lost water is crucial, which is why immediate veterinary intervention is necessary.

How To Respond to Calla Lily Leaf Poisoning

If your pup has consumed or been near calla lilies and their leaves, it’s important to seek emergency veterinary care as soon as possible. If left untreated, calla lily exposure can prove fatal to dogs, especially smaller breeds with more sensitive digestive or respiratory systems.

Preventing exposure to this dangerous plant is crucial to avoiding accidental poisonings, so be sure to restrict your dog’s access to areas with live Lillies (of all types).

It’s also an excellent idea to familiarize yourself with common household plants that are poisonous to dogs. That way, you can make your home and garden dog-friendly!

Other Plants To Keep Away From Dogs

Calla lilies aren’t the only plants you’ll want to keep away from your four-legged family members. For example, most lilies are poisonous to dogs, making them dangerous plants to keep in your home or yard.

Some of the most significant indoor plants and garden flowers to keep away from dogs include:

  • Lillies
  • Azaleas
  • Daffodils
  • Chrysanthemums

Naturally, this is only a short list of plants that are poisonous to dogs. For example, many vegetables and spices commonly found in the kitchen can cause poisoning in dogs, including onions and garlic.

But in this guide, we will focus on plants often found in indoor containers or garden beds, including lilies.

Lily Poisoning in Dogs

Lilies are popular indoor plants, but many types of lilies can result in fatal poisoning for household pets, including dogs. Some of the most dangerous of these include:

  • Calla lilies
  • Easter lilies
  • Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis)
  • Madonna lilies
  • Peace lilies
  • Tiger lilies
  • Wood lilies

The specific compounds responsible for poisoning differ depending on the species, but all of these lilies can cause significant distress and discomfort. If consumed in moderate amounts (or by small breeds), these plants can cause death.

Common symptoms of lily poisoning include vomiting, trembling, diarrhea, and excessive salivation. If you have lilies in or around your home and notice your dog exhibiting these symptoms, you should seek immediate veterinary care.

Unfortunately, lilies aren’t the only flowering plants that can harm your furry family members. Azaleas can be just as dangerous.

Azalea Poisoning in Dogs

Azaleas are found throughout the southern and western parts of the United States, especially in Florida and Georgia, but they’re not a great choice for dog-friendly households. That’s because azalea plants are rich in substances called grayanotoxins.

As the name suggests, grayanotoxins can poison unexpecting consumers, including curious pups. That’s because grayanotoxins interact with the nervous system.

The nervous system is one of the most crucial biological systems that keep us healthy and capable. Without it, our brains couldn’t send electrical signals throughout the body to control heart and muscle movement.

When you consume a toxin that inhibits or interacts with the nervous system, your body’s ability to maintain life-sustaining functions can suffer. The same is true for dogs.

Pups that consume azaleas, especially nectar-rich blooms, which contain the highest amounts of grayanotoxins, can experience a wide range of symptoms. These include vomiting, seizures, and cardiac arrest.

It’s vital to seek immediate emergency veterinary care at the first sign of azalea poisoning.

Daffodil Poisoning in Dogs

Daffodils are yet another flowering plant that can cause poisoning in household pets like dogs and cats. These bright yellow flowers contain a chemical called lycorine, an alkaloid with a crystal-like structure (much like calcium oxalate).

Though this substance has beneficial uses, especially in cancer treatment, its effect on cellular health can be disastrous. Essentially, lycorine causes cells to die. Because the healthy cells in our bodies are responsible for keeping us alive, consuming lycorine can prove fatal.

Suppose your pup eats any part of a daffodil. In that case, the lycorine they ingest can quickly destroy healthy cells throughout their body, resulting in common poisoning symptoms like vomiting, lethargy, and excessive drooling.

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Chrysanthemum Poisoning in Dogs

Bunches of multi-colored chrysanthemums can add some life to your garden beds. But cardiac glycosides, compounds found within the bright petals of these flowering plants, are toxic to dogs, making them must-avoid plants for dog-friendly households.

Still, what are cardiac glycosides, and how do they cause poisoning in dogs?

Cardiac glycosides are naturally-occurring compounds found throughout many flowering plants, from oleanders to chrysanthemums. These compounds are often synthesized and used to create medications that combat cardiac abnormalities.

But medications containing cardiac glycosides typically only utilize small amounts, as these compounds are toxic to nearly all mammals, especially when consumed in large doses.

That’s because cardiac glycosides can inhibit your body’s sodium-potassium balance, resulting in heart rate changes and abnormalities. Dogs and humans suffering from cardiac glycoside poisoning can experience rapid heart rate, kidney failure, and digestive upset.

Final Thoughts

Calla lily leaves, and all other parts of the calla lily plant, are poisonous to dogs. This plant can cause widespread irritation, vomiting, and severe kidney damage when ingested or inhaled.

In some cases, calla lily plant poisoning may be severe enough to result in death. That’s why removing any calla lily plants (or other plants poisonous to dogs) from your indoor, and outdoor gardens are crucial, as doing so can prevent accidental poisonings.

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