Toxic plants

Is Solomon’s Lily Toxic To Cats? 

by Clair Chesterman
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Is Solomon's Lily Toxic to Cats

Solomon’s lily poses threat to cats. Toxic insoluble calcium oxalates are found in all sections of Solomon’s lily plant, causing a severe response in cats. These sharp crystals are found in raphides, which are packed with the gelatinous substances within the plant’s idioblasts. 

When the plant is eaten by a cat, the raphides release calcium oxalate crystals into the mouth, esophagus, and finally the digestive tract, causing severe discomfort and inflammation. In response to these poisons, the body may mount an immunological response, resulting in swelling that can be severe enough to obstruct a cat’s breathing.

What Is Solomon’s Lily?

Solomon’s lily, scientifically known as arum palestinum, is a blooming perennial of the arum family endemic to the eastern Mediterranean. In the fall, the trowel-shaped leaf emerges from the tuber and creates a cluster that remains green throughout winter. The dark purplish-black spadix surrounded by a purplish-black spathe develops in April. The spathe’s exterior is a light green color.

It’s also known for its other common names black calla, Palestine Arum, wild calla, and wild arum. This plant cannot withstand freezing but may be kept in pots. It grows wild in the warmer parts of the United States.

Clinical Signs of Solomon’s Lily Poisoning in Cats

In cats, ingestion of small doses of Solomon’s lily usually causes gastrointestinal distress and irritation. However, excessive amounts can cause catastrophic organ failure. The following are all of the warning indicators to look out for:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Oral irritation
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue, and throat
  • Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Dyspnea (difficulty breathing)
  • Cardiac abnormalities
  • Dilated pupils
  • Coma

First Aid and Treatment of Solomon’s Lily Poisoning in Cats

The cat will need to be observed in order to determine the extent of the poisoning. Extensive vomiting or diarrhea may cause the cat to become dehydrated. Fluids and electrolytes can be given to the cat intravenously to assist restore fluid volume.

To alleviate symptoms, the cat may be given a variety of drugs throughout the event. To minimize edema and open the cat’s airways, antihistamines such as diphenhydramine may be provided. To minimize internal stomach discomfort, kapectolin or sucralfate might be used.

Recovery from Solomon’s Lily Poisoning in Cats

In most situations, only a little amount of plant material is eaten. In this case, the prognosis is favorable, with most cats recovering completely within a day. If a considerable amount of Solomon’s lily is consumed, symptoms may last for up to two weeks, with irreversible damage to the liver and kidneys likely. It is possible to die by eating this plant, however, this is seldom documented.

Prevention of Solomon’s Lily Poisoning in Cats

To avoid your cat from eating Solomon’s lily, keep it out of reach of your cat or remove it entirely from the house. To protect your cat from getting in contact with the plant outside is to keep him or her indoors.

If you love plants but have cats at home, check out these lists:

 

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