Protect Your Pets from Poisonous Plants

Spring is in the air and flowers are blooming. Chances are your dog and cat just want to be outside soaking up the sun. While we all love spring flowers, it’s a good time of year to remember that crocus, tulips, daffodils and other blooming plants can be dangerous for our pets. The list below contains some of the most poisonous plants to dogs and cats. It is by no means a complete list; in fact, there are more than 700 plants that are toxic to pets! If you suspect your pet has been chewing on a bulb or leaf of one of these plants and shows symptoms of poisoning, contact your vet or the ASPCA Poison Control Number at 888-4ANI-HELP or 888-426-4435. If visiting your vet, take samples of the vomit, diarrhea and the plant.

Daffodils

This traditional spring flower contains lycorine, an alkoloid that triggers vomiting.

What: Bulb, plant or flower

Symptoms: Severe vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, cardiac arrhythmia, trouble breathing, tissue irritation, drooling

Tulips and Hyacinths

The toxic lactones and alkaloids are concentrated in the bulb of these flowers.

What: Primarily bulb, plant

Symptoms: Profuse drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, changes in respiration

Crocus, Spring and Autumn

Two varieties of crocus exist–Spring and Autumn. The Spring variety can cause stomach upset while Autumn Crocus is  extremely toxic to pets.

What: Primarily bulb, plant

Symptoms:  Vomiting, diarrhea (Spring); Severe vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, liver and kidney damage, respiratory failure (Autumn)

Lilies

Not all lilies are dangerous, but the ones listed below are highly toxic to cats.

What: Leaves and flowers of Tiger, Day, Asiatic, Easter and Japanese Show Lilies

Symptoms: Severe kidney failure in cats; seek vet attention immediately

Azalea

These flowering shrubs are in the same family as rhododendrons.

What: Leaves

Symptoms: Vomiting, drooling and diarrhea; without immediate vet visit, coma and possibly death

Lily of the Valley

This plant blooms in late spring with small bell-shaped flowers.

What: All parts, including the berries

Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, drop in heart rate, severe cardiac arrhythmia, seizures

Cyclamen

The cyclamen stem bends at the tip so that the nose of the flower faces downward.

What: Roots

Symptoms: Severe vomiting, death

Kalanchoe

This succulent garden plant has a wide variety of flower colors.

What: Leaves and flowers

Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, heart arrythymia

Oleander

This evergreen, outdoor shrub has delicate flowers.

What: Leaves and flowers

Symptoms: Severe vomiting, slow heart rate, death

Photo credits, Top: Courtesy of Flickr/brominy; All others: Courtesy of ASCPA

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