Are amaryllis plants toxic to animals?

Asked December 22, 2014, 7:15 AM EST

Are amaryllis plants toxic to animals?

Sussex County New Jersey

1 Response

Amaryllis (Hippeastrum species) contains the toxic alkaloid lycorine, primarily in the bulb, which can cause symptoms in pets ranging from vomiting, depression, diarrhea and abdominal pain to excessive drooling, anorexia and tremors. Harmful levels of the toxin are rarely ingested due to the poor taste of the plant which tends to prevent pets from eating amounts large enough to cause serious harm. Additionally, the toxint is present in small amounts so large quantities of the bulb must be eaten to cause symptoms.

Some common signs to look for if you suspect your pet may have ingested amaryllis include:

  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Hypotension (drop in blood pressure)
  • Respiratory depression
  • Abdominal discomfort

Death is rarely seen given the amount necessary to cause such and the distasteful nature of the plant. However, if you have any concerns about your animal whatsoever, do not hesitate to seek assistance from a veterinarian.

I hope this information is useful to you.