What is Stargazer Lily Poisoning?
The stargazer lily is a very popular flower to receive in a bouquet or flower arrangement. Many people are aware of the fact the lily is toxic to cats when ingested. It is not known to cause toxicity symptoms in dogs, but it is always possible your dog may be the one that does. Symptoms can range from mild, such as gastrointestinal upset, to severe, such as kidney failure or death. If you believe your dog ate a piece of the stargazer lily, alert your veterinarian.
The stargazer lily belongs to a dangerous family of lilies. There have been no reported cases of death from stargazer lily ingestion in dogs, but it can still cause negative side effects. If your dog ingests a piece of this plant, consult with your veterinarian for the best course of action.
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Symptoms of Stargazer Lily Poisoning in Dogs
While there have been no reports of toxicity from the stargazer lily in dogs, he may still develop symptoms. Symptoms may include
- Inappropriate urination
- Inappropriate thirst
- Kidney failure
Many people use the common names of lily interchangeably between all the species. The stargazer lily is scientifically known as Lilium orientalis. It belongs in the Liliaceae family which is known as the dangerous family of lilies due to their toxic effects. The stargazer lily is pink with white in the typical lily appearance.
Causes of Stargazer Lily Poisoning in Dogs
The toxin in the stargazer lily is unknown. The toxin is known to cause symptoms of toxicity or even death in cats, not dogs. However, there is always a possibility your dog may react negatively if he ingests the stargazer lily. This lily is commonly found outdoors in gardens or indoors in bouquets or flower arrangements.
Diagnosis of Stargazer Lily Poisoning in Dogs
Your veterinarian will begin by performing a physical examination of your dog. This will allow her to assess his symptoms and note any abnormalities of his vitals. If your dog vomits while at the clinic, the veterinarian will examine the contents for any evidence as to what he ingested. If your dog is experiencing diarrhea, a fecal sample may be taken and tests performed to rule out internal parasites or bacterial overgrowth.
Blood work will be performed to give the veterinarian a broad look as to how the internal organs are functioning. A complete blood count (CBC) and chemistry panel will provide the veterinarian with needed information for proper assessment. A packed cell volume (PCV) may also be performed to determine hydration status. If your veterinarian feels it is necessary, she may also perform a urinalysis for further evaluation of kidney function. If even more detailed evaluation is needed, a kidney profile panel is an additional type of blood test that will also determine how the kidneys are functioning.
If you believe or witnessed your dog eating this plant, take a piece of it with you to the veterinarian clinic. This will allow for proper identification of the plant your dog consumed and the toxin it contains.
Treatment of Stargazer Lily Poisoning in Dogs
Your dog will be started on fluid therapy to flush the toxin from his body quicker, to prevent the kidneys from shutting down and to correct and prevent dehydration. Fluid therapy needs to be started within 18 hours of ingestion of the stargazer lily for it to prevent renal failure. If the kidneys fail, there is little chance of recovery.
Your veterinarian may induce vomiting in your dog to get him to expel any remaining pieces of the flower from the stomach. If the vomit is clear and unsuccessful at producing any plant remnants, she may administer activated charcoal to bind any remaining toxin in the gastrointestinal tract before the body absorbs it.
In addition to these supportive therapies, additional medications may be administered to combat other symptoms. For example, if your dog is having seizures, an anti-seizure medication may be given, or if your dog is vomiting continuously, an antiemetic may be administered. Additional administration of medications will be determined by your veterinarian depending on your dog’s needs.
Recovery of Stargazer Lily Poisoning in Dogs
While there have not been any reports of toxicity in dogs from the ingestion of the stargazer lily, you should still be aware of the toxicity symptoms. If you believe your dog ingested a part of this lily, alert your veterinarian. If your dog does develop symptoms of toxicity, you should seek veterinary care for him immediately.
If you have this plant in your home, keep it in an area your dog does not have access to and at a height he cannot reach. If you have this plant outside your home in your garden, keep it fenced off or in an area your dog is not allowed to venture. This will prevent ingestion of the stargazer lily by your dog and therefore prevent accidental poisoning.