Beware of Poisonous Plants

Did you know there are many plants in and around your house that can have harmful effects on pets?

Ever associate vomiting, depression, diarrhea, anorexia, tremors, and change in urine color with an aloe plant? I always thought they were a unique looking plant and have cut them open to use the gel-like inner substance of their leaves for their cool, healing power on a burn. Not so healing for our fur babies! If ingested by a cat or dog it can cause the symptoms listed above.

How about an azalea causing vomiting, diarrhea, hyper salivation, weakness, coma, hypotension, CNS depression, cardiovascular collapse and death? Yes, I am talking about the pretty flower producing spring-time bush that graces many of our homes landscaping. No? Me neither. But this plant is toxic to dogs and cats. Ingestion of a few leaves can cause serious problems. The clinical effects typically occur within a few hours after ingestion, and can include acute digestive upset, excessive drooling, loss of appetite, frequent bowel movements/diarrhea, colic, depression, weakness, loss of coordination, stupor, leg paralysis, weak heart rate and a state of resting for 2 or more days; at this point, improvement may be seen or the animal may become comatose and die. Yikes!

There are many plants that have been reported as having systemic effects on animals and/or intense effects on the gastrointestinal tract, too many to list here. The ASPCA has listed 408 for dogs and 414 for cats and it is not an all-inclusive list! Visit their website: www.aspca.org to view their list and if your pet ingests one of these plants, contact your local veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.