Toxic Plants

Death by LilyCat-for-Lily

The first signs of Spring for this part of the hemisphere is ordinarily superseded by the desolate snowy ground yielding new plant life and vibrant flowers. Plants are magical; they produce pollen for the honey bees and humming birds, they can grow into food, and produce delectable seeds and nuts. They are also very beautiful, often part of our household décor and are a symbol of love and appreciation in our culture. But did you know that there are over 700 plants have been identified as producing physiologically active or toxic substances in sufficient amounts to cause harmful effects in animals? Poisonous plants produce a variety of toxic substances and cause reactions ranging from mild nausea to death.

Certain animal species may have an intrinsic vulnerability to a potentially poisonous plant. For example (and in light of a certain upcoming egg hunting holiday) One of the most dangerous toxins to cats is one contained in all parts of most lilies – including the Easter Lily. It causes severe kidney disease and almost certain death if left untreated for over 18 hours. Do not put your cat at risk; no lilies in the house – ever! Unfortunately, this is not well known, even to florists. Please spread the word.

Some other common names on that list include:

  • Crocuses
  • Hydrangeas
  • Tulips
  • Hyacinths
  • Daffodils
  • Ivy

For a complete list of plants that are toxic to our furry family members:

This list offers all plants (and other toxins as well) from mild gastrointestinal upset to our worst nightmare. So, let’s try to avoid the latter and keep toxic plants out of the house and/or out of reach. It is important to bring your cat or dog in as soon as possible if you suspect that they have ingested something harmful or notice any of the symptoms of toxicity.

By: Erin Jones B.Sc., AWC, CPDT Candidate

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