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Is Lilyturf Poisonous to Dogs? What You Need To Know

Is Lilyturf Poisonous to Dogs? What You Need To Know

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Willie Moore
Latest posts by Willie Moore (see all)

Lilyturf refers to turf grass consisting of many plant varieties. Gardeners often use different types of lilyturf to create a swatch of color in their yards or around their houses. While dogs typically can sense what they shouldn’t eat, they are also curious creatures and will eat things they find that smell good or look attractive.  

Lilyturf is said to be poisonous to dogs though the poisoning is not severe. Generally, it has been known to cause mild to severe reactions in some dogs. However, lilyturf can be toxic to your dog if it is currently ill, consumes large amounts, or is sensitive to the plant’s compounds. 

If you have a dog, it is vital to be aware of what things are poisonous to them to keep them away from potential hazards. This article will explain how lilyturf affects dogs, the commonly recognized type of lilyturf, and the symptoms of lilyturf poisoning to look out for in your pet.

What Is Lilyturf and How Does It Affect Dogs?

Lilyturf is not a common name for any one plant. It’s a name used for many plants used in landscaping, such as Liriope. These plants are called lilyturf because they have broad leaves resembling lilies and are sometimes also called monkey grass, creeping lilyturf, and lily grass. 

Lilyturf refers to perennial evergreen ground cover plants that are often used as an alternative to grass or other types of ground cover. 

This might be a broad name used for several types of plants, but the two most common plants used in landscaping are Liriope muscari and Liriope spicata, also known as “monkey grass.”

How Lilyturf Affects Dogs

Lilyturf leaves and stems can be toxic to dogs, but the toxicity of this plant varies depending on the species and maturity of the plant. 

The plant contains calcium oxalate crystals (also found in some types of houseplants) which are harmless to humans but can cause harm to pets that ingest them (source.)

Dogs are more susceptible to the toxic effects of oxalates because they do not have the necessary enzymes to break them down like humans. These crystals can irritate the mouth, stomach, and intestines when ingested.

The toxic effects of oxalate consumption can cause mild to severe symptoms, depending on your pet’s sensitivity and current health and how much of the plant was consumed. 

If your dog ingests calcium oxalate crystals, they can experience diarrhea or vomiting. Lilyturf poisoning can be treated with supportive care for the dog, including intravenous fluids and medications to control the vomiting and diarrhea.

Lilyturf toxicity is more likely when pets eat the leaves or stems than when they eat the flowers or buds. 

Lilyturf is not typically listed as a poisonous plant for dogs on well-known pet poison control websites (such as Pet Poison Helpline or ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center). Still, it has been shown to cause toxicity in some dogs. Especially when ingested in large amounts or the dog is already ill.

“Monkey Grass”: A Common Type of Lilyturf

As previously mentioned, there are a variety of plants referred to as lilyturf. And some are more commonly used than others in landscaping, such as “monkey grass” (Liriope muscari and spicata). 

Monkey Grass is among the variety of lilyturf said to be non-toxic to dogs and other animals (source.)

Lilyturf (Liriope muscari)

Liriope muscari is also known as lilyturf, dwarf lilyturf, and ”monkey grass.” (source) This plant is used in landscaping as a colorful ground cover or as an edging plant. It’s a type of evergreen plant, which makes it popular with many gardeners wanting color year-round.

Although the plant can be a beautiful addition to a garden, it can also be poisonous to dogs, cats, and horses if they eat it. 

Thus, if you have lilyturf growing in your yard, keep your dog away from it and take them to the vet at once if they have consumed some of it.

Lilyturf (Liriope spicata)

This type of lilyturf (also referred to as “monkey grass”) is similar to the above-mentioned Liriope muscari. It is commonly used to border flower beds and as a beautiful ground cover display. It’s also a perennial evergreen that grows from thick, creeping rhizomes (underground stems) that can become invasive, spreading out for several feet. 

This Liriope lilyturf is also said to have low-severity characteristics for dogs and other animals (source.) 

However, the severity of poisoning will depend on the amount of lilyturf ingested and how your dog reacts to the plant’s chemical compounds. 

Small amounts can cause GI irritation, but if more significant quantities are consumed,  it can cause damage to the liver, other organs and even death in rare cases. 

So, just like humans, dogs may react differently and may show no or only mild symptoms, while others may suffer more severe reactions. If you suspect your pet has ingested Lilyturf (Liriope spicata), you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

The Symptoms of Lilyturf Poisoning

Many lilyturf varieties are said to be non-toxic or have low poison severity. However, as with humans, some dogs may be more sensitive to the compounds in plants, resulting in more severe symptoms than usual. 

It’s always best to be aware of what landscaping plants can potentially cause illness in case your furry friend gets a bit too curious and takes a nibble.

Typical symptoms of lilyturf toxicity in dogs may include the following (in cases of GI irritation):

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain

In severe cases, the following symptoms could apply:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Inflammation of the mouth and throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Excessive salivation

If you think your dog has ingested a lilyturf plant, it is essential to take them to the vet immediately. You should also call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 for advice on what to do next. 

Final Thoughts

You should familiarize yourself with the plants used in your landscaping, as many varieties could be toxic to dogs. Lilyturf is a broad name for many types of evergreen grass and other edging plants that can potentially harm your pooch.

Monkey grass is one of the most common lilyturf plants used in landscaping for its colorful and variegated display. While this plant poses a low poison severity to dogs, it can create discomfort like GI irritation when too much is ingested. Take your dog to the vet immediately if they’ve eaten any lilyturf plant.

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