Plants

Pet Talk: Toxic plants for Dogs and Cats | Features

With warmer weather and spring around the corner, many people are adding plants to their household. Plants can brighten up a room and bring joy to both you and your pets; however, some plants should be avoided if you have dogs and cats. Dogs and cats commonly interact with plants, whether that be to chew on them, brush up against them or, sometimes, ingest them completely. There is an extensive list of toxic plants available to view for free on the ASPCA website. These are five of the most common toxic household plants that should be avoided to keep your pets safe.

Lilies are toxic and deadly to cats. While the poisonous component has not yet been identified, it is clear that even small amounts ingested can lead to kidney failure in our feline friends. Lilies are not toxic to dogs.

Philodendrons are resilient plants that are common in many households. These plants contain a high amount of calcium oxalates and can cause pain, swelling and even burns in the mouth. This can result in excessive drooling, vomiting and difficulty swallowing. Philodendrons are toxic to dogs and cats.

Sago palms are leafy green ornamentals. They contain a liver toxin called cycasin that affects dogs and cats. If ingested in large enough quantities, this toxin can cause liver failure and ultimately death. Symptoms include vomiting, black runny stool, yellow mucous membranes, increased Thirst and decreased appetite.

Tulips and hyacinths are in the same family. They bloom in the spring and are tempting for dogs to dig up. The toxin in these plants can cause burns to the mouth, vomiting, diarrhea, and drooling. The toxin is concentrated in the roots and bulbs of these plants, animals will not show the same symptoms if they chew on the flowering portion. Dogs and cats are both susceptible to this toxin.

Oleander is a common outdoor plant but is moved inside many households to withstand winter. Oleander contains a heart toxin that affects dogs and cats. It causes drooling, abnormal heart rhythm, diarrhea, depression, vomiting, abdominal pain and, ultimately, death.

If you suspect your pet may have ingested a potentially toxic substance, call the APCC at (888) 426-4435 or contact your local veterinarian as soon as possible.

Dr. Alani Delis is a veterinarian at St. Francis Pet Clinic in Ketchum.

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