Top 10 Common Plants You Didn't Know can Hurt your Pets!

Posted by CYNDI JENSEN on

With two dogs and a child of our own, as well as dog sitting a variety of family and friends dogs, we have always been very careful about potential poisons in and around our house.  All our cleaning supplies are locked up behind child-proof locked cabinets, we never let our furry friends out into the garage by themselves, chocolate and grapes are quickly cleaned up if spilled to ensure no sticky tongues can slurp them up, and poinsettia's are a HUGE no go in our house.

So image my surprise when, after munching down on a rather generic looking houseplant, our pup took to hacking and dry heaving, sticking his tongue out and generally looking miserable.  Add to that, it was 7 at night on the Friday of a holiday weekend - nothing like a HUGE emergency care bill for after hours veterinary services.

We quickly called the emergency number at the veterinarians office, and described the symptoms.  They suggested we can the Pet Poison Helpline to see if they had any recommendations before we took him in to the emergency offices.  Now they were very clear that the help line was going to charge you $59 - but I figured that was still a good option since it would be a minimum of $300 to go to emergency.

I was extremely glad I did!  Apparently, our generic little houseplant is called Dieffenbachia, and it is one of the 10 ten dangerous plants for pets.  Not technically poisonous, the Dieffenbachia has a mighty defense system.  Tiny little crystals completely cover the leaves, which, when eaten, transfer themselves into your pet's throat and GI tract causing irritation and swelling - which could develop into an inability to breath if it is severe enough.  The helpful team at the Pet Poison Helpline gave us some great advice on how to home treat the little guy, along with a list of things to watch for if we needed to get further treatment, and we avoided a trip to emergency!  He was just fine by morning - looking for something else to eat.

Now, the idea here is not to say that you should avoid trips to the emergency room at all costs, nor that my dog is not the brightest bulb in the pack - because he keeps going back to that same corner for more yummy leaves, even though we threw the plant away that night.  

My point is to that there are MANY common household plants and flowers that are actually TOXIC to your pets and we don't even realize it.  Pet Poison Helpline has a list of all known toxic materials, but there are an awful lot of them.  So to help sort of weed them down (pun intended) a little bit, below are 10 of the most common one's that are seen in Midwest homes and gardens, along with some pictures of each (for those of you who do not have a horticulture expert on hand to identify them):

Aloe Vera

  

Poisonous to Cats & Dogs

Toxicity: Mild to Moderate

Signs to watch for:  Vomiting, Diarrhea, Depression, Anorexia, Changes in Urine Color, Tremors (rare)

Autumn Crocus

  

Poisonous to Cats & Dogs

Toxicity: Mild to Severe

Signs to watch for:  Drooling, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Inappetance, Bloody Diahhrea, Black Tarry Stool, Organ Damage, Respiratory Failure, Seizures, Death

Azalea

  

Poisonous to Cats & Dogs

Toxicity: Mild to Moderate

Signs to watch for:  Drooling, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Inappetance, Sbdominal Pain, Abnormal Heart Rate & Rhythms, Hypotension, Weakness, Tremors, Depression, Blindness, Seizures, Coma

Cyclamen

   

Poisonous to Cats & Dogs

Toxicity: Mild to Moderate

Signs to watch for:  Drooling, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Abnormal Heart Rate & Rhythms, Seizures

Daffodils

  

Poisonous to Cats & Dogs

Toxicity: Mild to Moderate

Signs to watch for:  Drooling, Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Increased Heart Rate, Abdominal Pain, Abnormal Breathing, Cardiac Arrhythmias

Dieffenbachia

  

Poisonous to Cats & Dogs

Toxicity: Mild to Moderate

Signs to watch for:  Drooling, Pawing at the mouth, Oral pain, Decreased appetite, Vomiting

Kalanchoe

   

Poisonous to Cats, Dogs, Cows, Birds

Toxicity: Mild to Moderate, Rarely Severe

Signs to watch for: Drooling, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Abnormal heart rate, Cardiac arrhythmias, Weakness, Collapse, Dilated pupils, Tremors, Seizures (rare)

Lilies

   

Poisonous to Cats

Toxicity: Moderate to Severe

Signs to watch for:Inappetence or anorexia, Lethargy or depression, Hiding, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Dehydration, Increased or decreased urination

Lily of the Valley

   

Poisonous to Cats & Dogs

Toxicity: Moderate to Severe

Signs to watch for: Vomiting, Diarrhea, Slowed heart rate, Severe heart arrhythmias, Seizures, Death

Oleander

   

Poisonous to Cats, Dogs, Horses, Cows, & Birds

Toxicity: Moderate to Severe

Signs to watch for: Drooling, Nausea, Vomiting, Abnormal heart rate, Cardiac arrhythmias, Weakness, Collapse, Tremors, Seizures, Death

Tulips & Hyacinths

   

Poisonous to Cats & Dogs

Toxicity: Mild to Moderate

Signs to watch for: Drooling, Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Increased Heart Rate, Increased Respiratory Rate, Difficulty Breathing

 

Pet Poison Helpline is a 24-hour animal poison control service available throughout the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean for pet owners and veterinary professionals who require assistance with treating a potentially poisoned pet. We have the ability to help every poisoned pet, with all types of poisonings, 24 hours a day. Our knowledge and expertise of pet poisons will put your mind at ease when dealing with a potential emergency.


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