What is Tiger Lily Poisoning?
The tiger lily is an extremely toxic flower to have around your pets. While it may not kill your dog, he can still suffer severe consequences. The most common toxicity symptom seen in dogs is gastrointestinal upset. Tiger lily toxicity rarely leads to death in dogs, but it is always a possibility. If you witness your dog ingesting this plant, you should contact your veterinarian. Most dogs have a smooth recovery from tiger lily toxicity with supportive therapies alone.
If ingested, the tiger lily is considered a dangerous lily. While there have been no reported cases of death in dogs by consuming the tiger lily, they may still develop signs of toxicity. If your dog chews on or ingests the tiger lily, take him to a veterinarian as soon as possible.
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Symptoms of Tiger Lily Poisoning in Dogs
The tiger lily is not considered poisonous to dogs. However, if ingested by your dog, he may still develop symptoms of toxicity. Symptoms include
- Change in urination
- Change in thirst
- Renal failure
For the best outcome, treatment must be started within 24 hours of tiger lily ingestion.
There are many species of the lily flower; some lethal, some benign. The tiger lily is considered one of the lethal lilies. This lily belongs to the family Liliaceae with the scientific name of Lilum tigrinum. The tiger lily can grow up to 6 feet tall, is orange with purple dots towards the center and is commonly found in gardens and bouquets due to their beautiful appearance.
Causes of Tiger Lily Poisoning in Dogs
The toxin the tiger lily produces is unknown. Whatever toxin it is, it has only been reported to cause deaths in cats, not dogs. However, it can still cause symptoms of toxicity in dogs and veterinary care for him should be sought out.
Diagnosis of Tiger Lily Poisoning in Dogs
When you 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 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. Your veterinarian may also perform a urinalysis for further evaluation of kidney function since the toxin in the tiger lily is known to cause kidney failure. In addition to this, a kidney profile panel is an additional blood test that will also provide diagnostics of how the kidneys are functioning.
If you believe your dog ingested this plant, take it with you to the veterinarian clinic. She will be able to examine the plant for bite marks or other evidence to determine the cause of your dog’s symptoms. This will allow for proper identification of the plant your dog consumed and the toxin it contains.
Treatment of Tiger Lily Poisoning in Dogs
Your dog will be started on fluid therapy to flush the toxin from the body quicker, to prevent the kidneys from shutting down as well as to correct and prevent dehydration. Fluid therapy needs to be started with 18 hours of ingestion of the tiger lily for it to prevent renal failure. If the kidneys fail, there is little chance of recovery.
If the tiger lily causes gastrointestinal upset in your dog, your veterinarian may try to induce vomiting. If too much time has passed since the ingestion of the tiger lily, your veterinarian may administer activated charcoal. This will bind with and absorb any remaining toxin that has not been absorbed by the body. Additional medications to protect the intestinal lining may also be administered.
If your dog’s behavior has changed, the veterinarian may move him to a quiet area to keep him calm and to avoid any unnecessary excitement or bodily harm. 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 anorexic, an appetite stimulant may be administered. Additional administration of medications will be determined by your veterinarian according to your dog’s needs.
Recovery of Tiger Lily Poisoning in Dogs
In other companion animals, tiger lily toxicity may be considered moderate to severe. For the dog, toxicity is only seen as mild. While there have been no reports of death from tiger lily ingestion in dogs, it can still cause serious detriment.
If your dog was healthy prior to ingestion of tiger lily, prognosis for a full recovery is good. However, if your dog has an existing condition, such as renal failure, the toxicity may cause the renal system to fail or shut down entirely. If this occurs to any degree, there is no cure.
If you have the tiger lily in your garden, keep it in an area your dog does not have access to or monitor him closely while he is outside. If you have the tiger lily in your home, keep at a height your dog cannot reach, even when he is standing on his hind legs. It would also be best to keep it in an area where he does not have access to wilted or fallen petals. It is said the tiger lily is potent enough that just a few leaves or even just the water from the plant vase is toxic enough to severely harm or kill a pet. The best thing you can do is not have this plant anywhere around your dog or in your home at all.