What is Solomon's Lily Poisoning?
Ingestion of Solomon’s lily by curious pets happens sometimes. Dogs are natural explorers who satisfy the instinct with their mouths. Grazing on plants is one such interest that many canines have. If this exploration takes place with your Solomon’s lily plant, your dog may immediately begin to display symptoms of poisoning. Any type of oral irritation and irritation of the face is a strong indicator the plant contained some sort of damaging crystal. If this happens to your dog, take him to his veterinarian in order to receive supportive therapies.
Solomon’s lily can cause immediate irritation to your dog’s mouth as soon as he bites into it. If your dog has ingested a portion of this plant, contact your veterinarian.
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Symptoms of Solomon's Lily Poisoning in Dogs
Symptoms of Solomon’s lily poisoning develop immediately after your dog chews on or bites into this plant. Symptoms include:
- Pawing at the mouth
- Irritation of the eyes
- Irritation of the mouth
- Irritation of the lips
- Irritation of the tongue
- Excessive drooling
- Foaming at the mouth
- Oral inflammation
- Difficulty swallowing
- Respiratory distress
Solomon’s lily is native to Asia, specifically Israel. It is an ornamental plant in the typical shape of a calla lily except it blooms in a deep purple or maroon color. Other common names this plant goes by include kardi, priest’s hood, black calla, wild calla, and wild arum. Scientifically, it belongs to the Araceae family with the scientific name of Arum palaestinum or can sometimes be found spelled Arum palestinum.
Causes of Solomon's Lily Poisoning in Dogs
Solomon’s lily produces insoluble calcium oxalate crystals. The insolubility quality of the crystals and their sharp-edged shape causes damage to your dog’s mouth. Instead of dissolving when coming into contact with the moisture of the mouth, the crystals cut the tissue and cause injury. This trait is what causes all of the symptoms related to oral irritation. The entire Solomon’s lily plant contains the toxin, but the leaves contain the highest concentration.
Diagnosis of Solomon's Lily Poisoning in Dogs
When you first arrive at the veterinarian’s office, she will begin by performing a physical exam on your dog. This will allow her to assess his symptoms and note any abnormalities of his vitals. If your dog is drooling excessively or displaying other symptoms of oral pain, the veterinarian will take special care when examining his mouth to note any abnormalities. If your dog vomits while at the clinic, the veterinarian will examine the contents for any evidence as to what he ingested.
Blood work will be performed to give the veterinarian a broad look as to how the internal organs are functioning and to rule out other possible causes of his symptoms. A complete blood count (CBC) and chemistry panel will provide the veterinarian with needed information for proper assessment of organ function. A packed cell volume (PCV) may also be performed to determine hydration status. If your veterinarian suspects crystalluria, she may perform a urinalysis for further evaluation of kidney function and to check for crystal formation in the urine from the oxalates. Bringing the plant to the clinic will be beneficial as the veterinary team can identify the plant and confirm the best choice of treatment.
Treatment of Solomon's Lily Poisoning in Dogs
For any type of oral pain, drooling, or foaming at the mouth, the veterinarian may attempt to wash out your dog’s mouth. This will rinse any remaining crystals from your dog’s mouth to prevent further damage to the sensitive tissues.
If your dog is experiencing breathing difficulties, your veterinarian may start your dog on oxygen via flow-by or place him in an oxygen cage. If your dog is experiencing severe swelling, the veterinarian may have to intubate him and maintain oxygen administration via intubation until he stabilizes. An antihistamine will be administered to help decrease the swelling and you should begin to notice a decrease in swelling in 2 to 4 hours.
Just as in any toxicity case, your dog will be started on fluid therapy to flush the toxin from the body quickly and efficiently. The fluid therapy will prevent the kidneys from shutting down as well as correcting and preventing any level of dehydration your dog may be experiencing. With the possibility of crystals forming in the urine, the fluids will continuously push liquid into him. This will make him need to urinate frequently enough for the urine to not remain in the bladder long enough to allow the formation of crystals.
Recovery of Solomon's Lily Poisoning in Dogs
Since most cases of Solomon’s lily poisoning are relatively mild, the prognosis for a full recovery is excellent. Once the oxalate crystals are rinsed from your dog’s mouth, no more injury should occur. If your dog is experiencing crystalluria, once the toxin has passed through his body, formation of crystals in the urine should cease.
Educate yourself about the plants you have in and around your home. Many dogs do not disturb plants, but even the most well behaved dog can get curious. If you have this plant in your home, keep it at a height your dog cannot reach, even when standing on his hind legs. If you have this plant outside your home, keep it in an area your dog does not have access to and teach him to not chew on or ingest foliage. Some pet owners will plant pet safe grasses and allow access to that area of the yard only.