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April Showers Bring May Flowers: Keep Your Pets Safe

May 22, 2017


The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) has released its Top Pet Toxins of 2016 list. Of the ten toxins listed, plants were at number nine, a slight improvement from their spot at number eight in 2015. In Pet Poison Helpline’s top poisons for cats of 2016, lilies were listed at number one.

At The COVE, our 24-hour ER team sees many frantic pet owners who bring in pets exhibiting distressing signs after playing in the garden or eating flowers at home. It’s our hope that by providing our community with the proper information, the risk of pets ingesting poisonous plants will decrease. 

Below are common signs and symptoms that indicate your pet has eaten something toxic.

Depending on the type of plant and the amount ingested, your pet may become very ill within an hour or could get progressively worse over the course of a few hours. If you suspect your pet has ingested a plant, or you notice the following or any other signs, contact your family veterinarian or emergency clinic for assistance. 

Pet-Poison-Awareness.pngCommon signs of poisoning

  • Black stool
  • Change in behavior
  • Collapse
  • Coughing
  • Coughing of blood
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Drooling or profuse salivating
  • Excessive thirst (and therefore excessive urination)
  • Lack of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Pale or discolored gums
  • Racing heart rate
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Vomiting
  • Vomiting blood
  • Weakness or lethargy 

Should your pet need medical attention due to poisoning or trauma, we are open 24 hours, every day. You don’t need an appointment. We also highly recommend that you call ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 to consult with a toxicologist ahead of time. As there are so many variations of poisonous substances, having a toxicologist involved is best practice for your pet’s well-being. 

Household and garden plants toxic to cats and dogs

Unfortunately, many plants are toxic to our furry family members. Here are some of the most common:

  • Aloe
  • Azalea
  • Crocus
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodil
  • English Ivy
  • Foxglove
  • Hyacinth
  • Iris
  • Ivy
  • Jade Plant
  • Lilies (minor toxicity: peace lily, Peruvian lily, calla lily; highly toxic: tiger lily, Asiatic lily, Easter lily, Japanese show lily, day lily, lily of the valley)
  • Oleander
  • Pothos
  • Sago Palm
  • Tulip
  • Yew 

Pet Poison Helpline also has an extensive list of poisons; filter your search by “plants” to see what’s unsafe for animals. When you’re on the go, use the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s free mobile app, available on Google Play and Apple’s App Store. See details here.

Remember that pets should be kept away from all pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, and other gardening chemicals. To learn more, check out our article, “The Grass Is Always Greener: Common Fertilizer and Herbicide Exposures in Pets.”

As the weather warms up, we hope you—and your pet—enjoy a season full of beautiful flowers and plants.

Please share this post with fellow pet owners to spread awareness and keep our animal friends safe.

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Category: Pet Health Tips