Mauna Loa Peace Lily Poisoning Average Cost

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Average Cost


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What is Mauna Loa Peace Lily Poisoning?

The foliage, stems, and flowers of the Mauna Loa peace lily contain insoluble calcium oxalates; a toxin that affects most mammals, including cats. These calcium oxalates are crystals stored in bundles called raphides. Once the plant material is chewed, the crystals are released and embed themselves in the oral and esophageal tissue of the animal eating them. This serves as a defense mechanism for the plant, as the crystals penetrating the oral cavity cause pain and inflammation. Most poisonous reactions are moderate, however if swelling of the throat begins to occur, breathing can be severely hindered. It should be noted that a Mauna Loa peace lily is not a true lily, and does not contain the same toxins found in lilies that lead to kidney failure.

The Mauna Loa peace lily is a large spathiphyllum hybrid that is a part of the Araceae family. It can be referred to as a “Mauna Loa plant”, or simply just a  peace lily. The plant is native to South America and has a very tropical appearance. The Mauna Loa Peace Lily is an evergreen perennial that can grow up to three feet in height. It has large, glossy leaves that are dark green in color. Large, white flower-like leaves grow around a thick, yellow spadix (a spike of very close flowers). These blooms last for a very long time. The plant is often kept potted, as it does not tolerate the frost and often needs to be indoors. 

Symptoms of Mauna Loa Peace Lily Poisoning in Cats

Most cases of Mauna Loa peace lily ingestion by cats produce only mild to moderate reactions. Symptom onset is often immediate but can take up to two hours to fully manifest. All signs to watch for include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • Dry heaving
  • Diarrhea 
  • Oral irritation 
  • Excessive drooling or foaming 
  • Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
  • Pawing at the mouth 
  • Choking
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression 
  • Dilated pupils 
  • Head shaking
  • Dyspnea (difficulty breathing)
  • Cardiac abnormalities 
  • Seizures 
  • Coma

Causes of Mauna Loa Peace Lily Poisoning in Cats

Peace lilies are often used as indoor plants as they are easy to keep and unique to look at. Some people may chose to keep the plant outdoors on the patio in the summer months. Both indoor and outdoor cats may be exposed to Mauna Loa peace lilies. Severe poisonings are rare due to the fact that eating the plant causes a painful irritation of the mouth, deterring most cats from eating more than a bite.

Diagnosis of Mauna Loa Peace Lily Poisoning in Cats

The easiest way to identify a Mauna Loa peace lily poisoning is by witnessing your cat eating the plant or by noticing bite marks or other obvious damage on your lily. If neither of these occurrences have taken place, the diagnostic process may be a bit more complicated. You will need to provide your veterinarian with the cat's full medical history to help differentiate a poisoning from pre-existing health problems. You may also be asked about what kind of house plants you keep and if you allow your cat outdoors.

The veterinarian will then perform a complete physical examination of the cat, noting all symptoms that have developed. In severe cases of poisoning, treatment to stabilize the cat may be started before a diagnosis has been made. A sample of the cat's blood will be needed to run a complete blood count and a biochemical profile, which will help reveal if the cat has very low electrolyte levels. This suggests that the cat has become dehydrated. Urinalysis may also be useful in measuring how well the liver and kidneys are functioning. Calcium oxalate crystals can wreak havoc on these organs. 

Treatment of Mauna Loa Peace Lily Poisoning in Cats

There is no specific course of treatment to handle a Mauna Loa peace lily poisoning. Symptoms will be addressed and treated as they arise. The cat's vital functions should be stabilized as soon as possible. 

Wash Oral Cavity 

Flushing the mouth and surrounding areas with water can help relieve irritation caused by calcium oxalate crystal penetration. Any part of the cat that has touched the plant may also need to be washed. 


Certain medications can be given to the cat to help ease symptoms. Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine can be administered to open blocked airways. Kapectolin may be used to coat the stomach lining and prevent internal irritation.

Fluid Therapy 

If the cat has become dehydrated from excessive illness, rehydration using intravenous fluids may be necessary. Electrolytes can also be given to increase levels in the body.

Recovery of Mauna Loa Peace Lily Poisoning in Cats

The period of illness following the consumption of Mauna Loa peace lily generally lasts from 12 to 24 hours, with mild symptoms remaining up to two weeks. The majority of cats make a full recovery with no lasting effects. This is mainly because most cats do not eat large portions of the plant. The severity of the poisoning will be directly related to how much plant material has been ingested. If your cat develops breathing difficulties during the episode, it will need to be closely monitored throughout the poisoning.

While many people keep this plant in their home, extra precaution must be taken to ensure it is kept out of the reach of any house cats. Some have chosen to remove the plant for their cat’s safety. Keeping your cat indoors will help prevent it from coming into contact with a Mauna Loa peace lily outdoors during the summer months. 

Mauna Loa Peace Lily Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

I think part Chartruex or Russian Blue
7 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

not drinking
Not Eating

My cat had been chewing on the leaves of my parents peace lily. The past 24hrs he has been throwing up clear yellow/orange color that sometimes has a foamy bit with it. I haven't seen him eating or drinking since early yesterday and he even turned away from tuna. This morning I used a syringe to make him get some pedilyte into his body since I can't get him to eat or drink. He lets me pet him and will very softly purr and flick his tail when I'm petting him. He rolled over for me rub his belly last night which he doesn't do all that often. He has been a little distant but will let me approach him and will still come to me in the evening.

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Domestic longhair
3 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Vomiting, Diarrhea

: my kitten Mars had a nibble or two of peace lily... we didn’t realize something was up until the next night... would not eat. Drank well. After his examination, they determined that was what was causing his vomiting and Diarrhea. Other than that, he was okay. Good bloodwork and stool sample had no parasites. They are hydrating him and flushing him out overnight...will he be okay? We mistakenly treated him for a hairball?

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6 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Sneezing, eye running

My cat ate some of a peace Lilly leaf and has been sneezing and has a runny eye. She is eating and drinking as normal. The sneezing has been going on for about three days.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
Symptoms of peace lily poisoning are usually pawing at face, drooling, foaming at the mouth and vomiting; I am not sure what the cause for the sneezing and runny eye it or whether it is related. You should flush the eye out with sterile saline to see if there is any improvement; if you don’t see any improvement you should visit your Veterinarian for a thorough examination. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Grey Tiger
5 Years
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Not Eating

We adopted a 5 year old cat 2 days ago. When we first brought her home she began chewing on our peace lily - which we now know is poisonous and has been re-homed. She hasn’t been eating since we brought her home, and I’m wondering if this is the cause. Otherwise she seems fine - drinking water, urinating, very cuddly and out-going. She doesn’t show any other signs of discomfort (ie no drooling, no pawing her mouth, etc). But she will only lick her wet food, and won’t even try her dry food. Do you think it’s just a transition thing, or because of the peace lily? Should we have her seen?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
Normally peace lily poisoning causes severe gastrointestinal irritation and pain including drooling, pawing at mouth, vomiting etc… which are all absent. It is possible that the throat is still swollen and causing pain leading to a loss of appetite. You should ensure that the mouth is rinsed out thoroughly and try to feed Svea boiled chunks of chicken to see if you can stimulate appetite, if there is no improvement visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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2 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Excessive Saliva
Heavy Breathing

Cat has eaten peace lily and has been drooling all over the house uncontrollably , it’s in massive puddles and every once in a while he’ll stop to try and cough something out , he’s acting very distant and when I try picking him up to check up on him he’ll hiss scratch and bite me and start to breathe heavily

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
Peace lily poisoning causes gastrointestinal symptoms including drooling, pawing at the mouth, vomiting among other symptoms; you should attempt to rinse out the mouth to remove the source of irritation. If there is no improvement in Felix’s symptoms, you should visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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