Plants Poisonous to Our Pets - Guest Blog by Sandra Lindstedt

Plants Poisonous to Our Pets

Each year thousands of pets die from poisonings that could have been prevented.  This month I will review some plants that our poisonous to our pets.

Many of us love to celebrate the holidays by displaying lilies in our homes but did you know that they are highly toxic to cats?  Even ingesting a very small amount can cause serious kidney damage.

Sago palms are a very popular tree in Florida and many of us have one or more in our yard.  All parts of this tree are poisonous but the seeds are the most toxic.  When walking your dog, always be aware of what they pick up in their mouths.  Signs of sago palm poisoning are vomiting, diarrhea, depression, seizures and liver failure.

Another common Florida landscape plant includes the oleander.   These beautiful bushes provide privacy but when ingested can cause gastrointestinal tract irritation and abnormal heart function.

Back to holiday blooms – amaryllis contain toxins that can cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hyper-salivation, anorexia and tremors.  While they add beauty to our homes, make sure your holiday plants are safely out of reach of your pets (and children, too!) and pick up any dead blooms that may fall within reach of your dog or cat.

If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, whether it be from ingesting a toxic plant, liquid or food, immediate action is necessary.  The ASPCA offers a toll-free number, 888- 426-4435, to call for assistance.  You will need to supply them with the species, breed, age, sex and weight of your pet, the animal’s symptoms and information regarding the exposure, including the agent (if known), the amount of the agent involved and the time elapsed since the time of exposure.   Keep in mind that there is a $60 fee involved but it is much cheaper than a trip to the local vet.  However, if your pet is having seizures, losing consciousness, is unconscious or is having difficulty
breathing, IMMEDIATELY call your vet or nearest emergency clinic and notify them you are bringing your pet in.