What is Clivia Lily Poisoning?
The clivia lily is a beautiful and large plant with deep green succulent foliage and large bunches of bright orange blooms, similar to a daylily. Clivia lilies are native to Swaziland and South Africa, but have been altered to grow in the United States, and is especially hardy in the southern states such as Florida and Louisiana. Many people in other parts of the country keep this beautiful hybrid inside as a potted plant, which means your dog can get to it even easier.
Although it is not a true lily because it is part of the Amaryllidaceae family rather than the Lilium family, it can be just as dangerous if the bulb or seeds are ingested. The cardiac effects can be very serious, depending on your dog’s health and size, as well as how much and what part of the lily was eaten. Intestinal symptoms may be hard on your dog as well, especially if there is an underlying disease or condition.
Clivia lily poisoning in dogs is caused by the consumption of any part of the clivia lily plant, but the bulbs and berries are the most toxic. There are several types of poisons in the clivia lily such as hippeastrine miniatine, clivatine, clivonine, and lycorine (phenanthridine alkaloids). These toxins are found throughout the clivia lily, with the highest concentrations in the berries and the bulb. In fact, the main cause of exposure is from dogs digging up and snacking on freshly planted bulbs. The side effects may be serious if a large amount is eaten or if your dog is ill, young, elderly, or if you have a toy dog such as a Yorkshire Terrier or Teacup Poodle. Some of these signs are abdominal pain, intestinal irritation, heart rhythm abnormalities, and convulsions. Heart irregularities and dehydration from vomiting/diarrhea are the biggest threat to your dog’s health.
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Symptoms of Clivia Lily Poisoning in Dogs
Your dog may show symptoms right away or it may take several hours or days. The most common are:
- Abdominal pain
- Bloody diarrhea
- Decreased blood pressure
- Rapid heart rate
- Cardiac rhythm abnormalities
The clivia lily is part of the Amaryllidaceae family with several other common names such as:
- Caffre lily
- Cape clivia
- Kaffir lily
Causes of Clivia Lily Poisoning in Dogs
The clivia lily has several kinds of phenanthridine alkaloids, which are:
Diagnosis of Clivia Lily Poisoning in Dogs
You should bring the veterinarian a photo or a part of the plant for the veterinarian to look at so she can determine the exact toxins in your dog. If they can determine the exact plant your dog has eaten, the diagnosis and treatment plan will be easier to find. A physical will be done on your pet, which includes vital signs, condition of the skin, view of the eyes, nose, mouth, and ears, body temperature, heart rate, breath sounds, and abdominal palpations. Laboratory tests are done next, which will include a complete blood count, blood chemistry profile, urinalysis, and fecal examination. Abdominal x-rays and ultrasound will be conducted to view your dog’s liver, intestinal tract, and stomach contents. If necessary, your veterinarian may also do CT scans or an MRI to get a more detailed view.
Treatment of Clivia Lily Poisoning in Dogs
Although the treatment plan is different for every dog and depends on the poison that was ingested, most plans include:
The veterinarian or technician will give your dog ipecac or a peroxide solution to induce vomiting. This helps rid your dog’s body of plant material and toxins.
The veterinarian or member of the staff will start your dog on an intravenous (IV) line to prevent dehydration and flush the toxins from the system faster.
The medications your veterinarian may administer are anti-nausea, anti-emesis, stomach protection, and electrolytes if needed.
In most cases, the veterinarian will want to keep your dog in the veterinary hospital for 24 to 48 hours for observation. This way, the medical staff can observe your pet and administer treatment if needed.
Recovery of Clivia Lily Poisoning in Dogs
If your dog is treated within the first 24 hours, the prognosis is very good and you should be able to go home right away. If there are any worrisome symptoms, such as heart or liver damage, the veterinarian may keep your pet overnight to treat the symptoms and watch for complications. Once you bring your dog home, provide a safe and quiet place to rest and provide fresh water several times a day. Remove any clivia lilies that your dog or other pets can reach and report any issues to your veterinarian right away.
Clivia Lily Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
Can Clivia Lily poisoning trigger inflammatory bowel disease and/or SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth)? Our dog ate Clivia and had three weeks diarrhea, some vomiting, some lethargy. Feeling better after Prednisone and Tylosin prescribed but still not out of the woods.
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