Lily of the valley is extremely toxic for dogs

Convallaria majalis extremely toxic

The lily of the valley belongs to the Asparagaceae family and is a popular plant flowering in gardens and forests in spring. The lily of the valley is relatively small with a maximum height of 30 cm.

The large, green leaves come directly from the root. The white grape-like blossoms appear from March onwards with up to ten bell-like flowers. Lily of the valley has a relatively intense sweet scent.

Caution: Lily of the valley is easily confused with wild garlic, which is less toxic to dogs. All parts of the lily of the valley are very poisonous to dogs. Especially the flowers are poisonous.

Lily of the valley is also known as:
  • May bells
  • Our Lady's tears
  • Mary's tears
Lily of the Valley with white flowers in springtime

What should I do if my dog ate Lily of the valley?

How toxic is Lily of the valley?

Toxicity:extremely toxic (extremely toxic)
Toxic parts:All parts of the lily of the valley are very poisonous. Especially the flowers are poisonous.
Toxic time:winter, spring, summer, autumn
If your dog shows symptoms of poisoning, it is always an emergency! Time is critical for your dog's life. You should immediately call your vet or the animal emergency services and make sure that a vet is on site and then go there immediately. For the treatment, it helps the vet a lot to know what your dog has ingested.

Occurrence Lily of the valley

Plant species:herbs
Occurrence:Gardens, Parks, Forests
Flowering time:spring, summer
Fruit ripening:summer


The following symptoms are typical of lily of the valley poisoning:

  • nausea
  • increased salivation
  • vomiting
  • stomach pain
  • diarrhoea
  • faintness
  • movement disorders
  • coma
  • palpitations
  • circulatory collapse
  • death may occur due to cardiac arrest


The vet will always try to remove the ingested poison from the body and alleviate the specific symptoms of poisoning.

There are different methods to remove the poison from the body:

1. ACTIVATED CHARCOAL: Activated charcoal can absorb toxins. If possible, it should be administered within 2 hours after ingestion of the poison, so that the toxin does not enter the bloodstream.
2. LAXATIVES: The vet may combine the administration of activated charcoal with a laxative.
3. VOMITING: The vet can also induce vomiting using medication to remove the toxin from the body. 

In cases of severe poisoning, the veterinarian can also give an antidote if available and strengthening infusions if needed. It may become important to monitor vital functions and give further medication.

More information on dog poisonings can be found here: 

Preventing, identifying and treating poisoning in dogs


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