Saturday, March 20, 2010

Plants Toxic to Pets - Be Aware

Today is the first day of spring - a day that we welcome whole-heartedly after a long winter. With spring comes warmer weather and a ton of plants with the potential to be toxic to pets.

We all love plants, but we want to keep our dogs safe. So what's a plant-loving dog owner to do? Learn which plants are toxic and plant your garden with that knowledge in mind.

Toxic Plants

The springtime plants that can result in gastrointestinal upset in dogs and cats include:

Calla lily

Plants that are considered very toxic and can result in severe illness or even death include:

Tiger Lily
Easter Lily
Day lily
Lily of the Valley
Morning Glory
Death Camas

Though some plants can cause serious illness or death, irritation of the mouth and gastrointestinal tract are the most common problems. Vomiting usually occurs soon after ingestion, which removes most of the plant from the system and reduces additional toxin absorption.

The most important part of treating ingestion of a toxic plant is to determine if your pet actually ate the plant, how much was ingested and which part of the plant was eaten. The entire plant is not always toxic. Sometimes only the seeds, the leaves, stems or roots are toxic. Also, plant identification is crucial in diagnosis. Get a sample of the plant if you are unsure of the name. This information can help your veterinarian determine the best course of treatment.

Unfortunately, there are very few specific treatments or antidotes for toxic plant ingestion. Supportive care, including intravenous fluids, may be necessary. Without proper care, some plant toxicities can have devastating effects on your pet's health.

By knowing which plants could pose a threat, you can work towards preventing your pet from access to the plant and keep your pets safe and your yard beautiful.

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