With summer in full bloom, pet parents need to be on high alert for plants that can be toxic for our furry friends. Pets are curious creatures who investigate the world through their senses, which can translate into an emergency visit to the veterinarian. Here we’ve focused on some of the most common varieties you might find in your neighborhood that are dangerous for pets.
Usually found in warm, humid climates and indoors as a houseplant, all parts of this plant are poisonous to cats and dogs, particularly the seeds. Known for being tasty to pets, these plants contain chemical compounds that are toxic to the nervous system, causing symptoms such as vomiting, black feces, jaundice and liver failure. Ingestion of just one or two seeds can be fatal.
Many species of lilies are dangerous for cats – especially “true” lilies such as the Easter, Tiger Day, Stargazer, and Day varieties. These lilies are so toxic that even small ingestions, such as the pollen or water in a vase can result in kidney failure and death.
While a pretty addition to the garden, azaleas are considered quite poisonous to pets. Ingestion of just a few leaves can cause digestive issues, loss of appetite, excessive drooling, weak heart rate, seizures or coma. Just one more reason to keep pets away from your neighbor’s flowerbeds, or from bringing fresh-cut blossoms inside.
Tomato plants are tempting for curious pets who love to munch, and while the ripened fruit is considered non-toxic, the green parts of the plant contain solanine, which is toxic for small animals. Lucky for your pet, tomato plant poisoning isn’t fatal, but can cause uncomfortable symptoms like excessive salivation, vomiting, confusion, and behavioral changes.
While most fertilizers are typically safe, there are some that contain blood meal and bone meal that are especially tasty to pets. When ingested in larger portions, these ingredients can cause gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, inflammation of the pancreas or even a blockage that may require surgery to remove. If you suspect your pet has ingested something poisonous, call us immediately. It’s helpful to bring samples of the plant with you so we can do our best to identify it and provide the right form of treatment. For a more comprehensive list of toxic plants, please visit ASPCA’s website.