Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pet Proofing Your Garden 101- Toxic Household & Garden Plants

If you haven’t already realized, like children, pets are very inquisitive and it is up to us as parents to keep Fido & Fluffy safe. There is truth to the saying “curiosity killed the cat” or in some instances really made him sick.

With the long dog days of summer comes many pet hazards to be aware of. Protect your dogs from having access to dangerous poisons that may lurk inside and outside the home by opting for pet friendly and eco friendly alternatives. Remember foods, herbicides, pesticides, mouse poisons, medications, cleaning products & plant life can signal danger. Although your home should be a safe haven, dangers can lurk in your cabinets & backyard. So safeguarding your pet from accidental poisoning should extend outside your home to your relaxing garden and backyard oasis.

This brings us to the topic of the hour the dangers of plants and the importance of pet proofing your gardens & indoor plants. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center gets thousands of calls each year involving pets who've potentially ingested or came in hazardous contact with insecticides, weed killer and pet toxic plants. In 2008, common household plants were the subject of nearly 8,000 calls in to the Animal Poison Control Center, a staggering number. While you are gardening, landscaping, and filling your home with the wonderful fragrance of flowers and indoor plants to welcome summer there are a few things you must know.

Keep in mind that although beautiful, some plants are toxic if ingested by your pet. Many contain toxins that can lead to mild nausea, diarrhea, skin allergies & and even death. Below is an informative video created the ASPCA that all pet owners should watch. As well as a list of plants that you should keep out of your pets reach. Don't be fooled, if your pet is motivated & determined he or she can & will get into anything and everything. Certain plant life can pose a threat to your furry family member. If you have suspected your pet has ingested a poisonous plant contact your vet immediately or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4335.

Here are some common plants that are toxic if ingested by your pet.

1. Lilies-highly toxic to cats, even if ingested in small amounts can cause severe kidney damage.

2. Marijuana- can cause depression of the central nervous system & incoordination, vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, increased heart rate, seizures & coma.

3. Sago Palm- all elements of this plant are poisonous, the the seeds or "nuts" contain the majority of the the toxin. The ingestion of one or two seeds can cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression, seizures & liver failure.

4. Tulip- bulb contains toxins that causes gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, appetite loss, depression of central nervous system, convulsions and cardiac abnormalities.

5. Azalea- contain substance known as grayantoxins which causes vomiting, drooling , diarrhea, weaken central nervous system. Severe azalea poisoning could result in coma or death due to cardiovascular collapse.

6. Oleander- contains cardiac glycosides that can lead to serious effects such as gastrointestinal tract irritation, abnormal heart function, hypothermia and death.

7. Castor Bean- contains ricin, a highly toxic protein that can produce sever abdominal pain, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, weakness & appetite loss. Severe cases of poisoning can result in dehydration, muscle twitching, tremors, seizures, coma & death.

8. Cyclamen- contains cyclamine, but the highest concentration of this toxic component is typically located in the root portion of the plant. If consumed, Cylamen can produce significant gastrointestinal irritation, including intense vomiting. Fatalities have also been reported in some cases.

9. Kalanchoe-this plant contains components that can produce gastrointestinal irritation, as well as those that are toxic to the heart, and can seriously affect cardiac rhythm and rate.

10. Yew- contains a toxic component known as taxine, which causes central nervous system effects such as trembling, incoordination, and difficulty breathing. It can also cause significant gastrointestinal irritation and cardiac failure, which can result in death.

11. Amaryllis-common garden plants popular around Easter, Amaryllis species contain toxins that can cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, anorexia and tremors.

12.Autumn Crocus- ingestion by pets can result in oral irritation, bloody vomiting, diarrhea, shock, multi-organ damage and bone marrow suppression.

13. Chrysanthemum- these popular blooms contain pyrethrins that may produce gastrointestinal upset, including drooling, vomiting and diarrhea, if eaten. In certain cases depression and loss of coordination may also develop if enough of any part of the plant is consumed.

14.English Ivy-Also called branching ivy, glacier ivy, needlepoint ivy, sweetheart ivy and California ivy,Hedera helix contains triterpenoid saponins that, should pets ingest, can result in vomiting, abdominal pain, hypersalivation and diarrhea.

15. Peace Lily (AKA Mauna Loa Peace Lily)-contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing and intense burning and irritation of the mouth, lips and tongue in pets who ingest.

16. Pothos-if chewed or ingested, this popular household plant can cause significant mechanical irritation and swelling of the oral tissues and other parts of the gastrointestinal tract.

17. Schefflera-contain calcium oxalate crystals that can cause oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing and intense burning and irritation of the mouth, lips and tongue in pets who ingest.

Click here for a more detailed full list and pics of toxic and non-toxic plants compiled by the ASPCA to keep your animal companion safe all year round. Happy gardening!!

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