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Monday, April 25, 2016

Spring Flowers Poisionous to Pets

BY: Laurie Brzostowsk, President, Snaggle Foot Dog Walks and Pet Care-Round Lake, IL

Woo Hoo !  Spring is here.  I was sitting outside yesterday with my puppy Bandit and things are blooming !  Yay !

So while I was sitting outside with my doggie I realized we will now be shopping around for annuals to plant.  Some of these flowers can be extremely dangerous to our pets, so I thought I would list the top flowers that will be growing soon that are dangerous.

For more information about pet poisons, please check out http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com.

  1. Tulips and Hyacinth: Tulips contain allergenic lactones while hyacinths contain similar
    alkaloids. The toxic principle of these plants is very concentrated in the bulbs (versus the leaf or flower), so make sure your dog isn’t digging up the bulbs in the garden. When the plant parts or bulbs are chewed or ingested, it can result in tissue irritation to the mouth and esophagus. Typical signs include profuse drooling, vomiting, or even diarrhea, depending on the amount consumed. There’s no specific antidote, but with supportive care from the veterinarian (including rinsing the mouth, anti-vomiting medication, and possibly subcutaneous fluids), animals do quite well. With large ingestions of the bulb, more severe symptoms such as an increase in heart rate and changes in respiration can be seen, and should be treated by a veterinarian. These more severe signs are seen in cattle or our overzealous, chowhound Labradors.
  2. Daffodils:  These flowers contain lycorine, an alkaloid with strong emetic properties(something that triggers vomiting). Ingestion of the bulb, plant or flower can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and even possible cardiac arrhythmias or respiratory depression. Crystals are found in the outer layer of the bulbs, similar to hyacinths, which cause severe tissue irritation and secondary drooling. Daffodil ingestions can result in more severe symptoms so if an exposure is witnessed or symptoms are seen, we recommend seeking veterinary care.
  3. Lilies:  There are dangerous and benign lilies out there, and it’s important to know thedifference. Peace, Peruvian, and Calla lilies contain oxalate crystals that cause minor signs, such as tissue irritation to the mouth, tongue, pharynx, and esophagus – this results in minor drooling. The more dangerous, potentially fatal lilies are true lilies, and these include Tiger, Day, Asiatic, Easter and Japanese Show lilies – all of which are highly toxic to cats! Even small ingestions (such as 2-3 petals or leaves) can result in severe kidney failure. If your cat is seen consuming any part of a lily, bring your cat (and the plant) immediately to a veterinarian for medical care. The sooner you bring in your cat, the better and more efficiently we can treat the poisoning. Decontamination (like inducing vomiting and giving binders like activated charcoal) are imperative in the early toxic stage, while aggressive intravenous fluid therapy, kidney function monitoring tests, and supportive care can greatly improve the prognosis.
  4. Crocus:  There are two Crocus plants: one that blooms in the spring (Crocus species) and theother in the autumn (Colchicum autumnale). The spring plants are more common and are part of the Iridaceae family. These ingestions can cause general gastrointestinal upset including vomiting and diarrhea. These should not be mistaken for Autumn Crocus, part of the Liliaceae family, which contain colchicine. The Autumn Crocus is highly toxic and can cause severe vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, liver and kidney damage, and respiratory failure. If you’re not sure what plant it is, bring your pet to their veterinarian immediately for care. Signs may be seen immediately but can be delayed for days.
  5. Lily of the Valley: The Convallaria majalis plant contains cardiac glycosides which will causesymptoms similar to digitalis (foxglove) ingestion. These symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, a drop in heart rate, severe cardiac arrhythmias, and possibly seizures. Pets with any known exposure to this plant should be examined and evaluated by a veterinarian and treated symptomatically.
And don't forget about fertilizers.. almost ALL fertilizers are dangerous to pets.  Use them ONLY when your pets are not around and keep your pets off lawns and around plants that you have fertilized.  Even better, try and find pet friendly environmentally safe fertilizers to use in your yard.

Happy Spring everyone and let's just make sure we ALL enjoy the flowers !

1 comment:

  1. I have experienced this practically. My dog is too sensitive to flowers. Sometimes this may happen. ABC Veterinary Clinic can give us more info about this.