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Poisonous Plants to Cats and Dogs

Flowers, Ferns, and More that Are Dangerous to Pets

By Mary Kearl. March 08, 2013 | See Comments

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Poisonous Plants to Cats and Dogs

Some common household plants can in fact be toxic to animals, requiring immediate veterinary care. Learn which plants to keep away from your pets.

Upwards of 700 plants have been found to be harmful to animals—causing anywhere from nausea to fatality in our loved ones—according to the Humane Society. Which are most likely be found in and around the home and most likely to cause problems for our pets?

Treatment for Consumption of Toxic Plants: If you suspect your pet has eaten any of these plants, do not hesitate. Contact your vet or the ASPCA poison control center right away.

Flowers

Amaryllis: Keep pets away from the bulbs of these plants, which, if ingested, can lead to vomiting, depression, diarrhea, abdomen issues, drooling, anorexia and tremors.

Autumn Crocus: Listed at the top of Pet Poison Helpline’s list, Top 10 Plants Poisonous to Pets, this plant may result in dangerous levels of vomiting, internal bleeding, liver and kidney problems, and respiratory failure. Your animal may develop symptoms immediately after ingestion or such signs could remain dormant over the course of days.

Azalea: Just munching on a small number of leaves of this plant can produce symptoms including throwing up, diarrhea, and unusual drooling. If you believe your pet has consumed some, take them to the vet right away. Delayed treatment could result in a coma or even death.

Chrysanthemums: If your pet gets into these flowers, your buddy may vomit, have diarrhea, drool excessively, lose coordination, and have skin issues.

Cyclamen: It’s the roots of this plant that cause the troubles: dangerous vomiting and possibly death.

Daffodils: Don’t be fooled by their sunny dispositions—ingesting the bulb, plant or flower of these plants may lead to vomiting, diarrhea, abdomen issues, cardiac arrhythmias, or respiratory troubles in pets.

Kalanchoe: Symptoms this plant can produce include vomiting, diarrhea, and heart arrhythmias.

Lilies: Everything about this plant—the leaves, pollen and flowers—is toxic, especially to cats. These plants cause lethargy, vomiting, appetite loss, kidney failure (within 36-72 hours) and, if not attended to by a vet early on, death.

Lily of the Valley: Signs of ingestion of this plant include confusion, vomiting, diarrhea, a decline in heart rate, cardiac arrhythmias, and seizures.

Oleander: Though it’s rarely consumed by pets, digestive issues, heart abnormalities, hypothermia, and death may result from a pet’s eating of any parts of this flowering plant.

Rhododendron: If you own this plant, take care. If your pet mistakenly eats it, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, coma, cardiovascular collapse, and death may result.

Tulips and Hyacinths: The bulbs of these two flowers contain toxic alkaloids that, when consumed, can cause problems in your pet’s mouth and esophagus, leading to drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Household Plants

Aloe Vera: Though this plant may be better known for its healthy properties for humans, it can lead to vomiting, depression, diarrhea, appetite loss, tremors, and urine discoloration in pets.

Asparagus fern: Allergic dermatitis, gastric issues, vomiting, and diarrhea are some of the symptoms associated with pets who’ve eaten this plant.

Jade: Not all is serene and green about this plant. Should your animal eat any of it, vomiting, depression, lack of muscle coordination, and a decreased heart rate may result.

Philodendrons: Have these at home? Take note: If your animal gets into them, they may experience symptoms such as pain in the mouth, lips, and tongue; drooling; vomiting; and troubles swallowing.

Poinsettia: This winter favorite is toxic to cats and dogs and may cause irritation of the mouth and stomach, and vomiting.

Sego Palm: The leaves and seeds may leave your pet vomiting and with bloody stools, damaged stomach lining, and liver issues. Death may even result.

Yew: Though rarely consumed by pets, it can be highly toxic, producing extreme consequences such as trembling, loss of coordination, breathing issues, digestive problems, and cardiac failure, which may result in death.

Trees, Shrubs, and Fruits

Apple Tree: Stems, leaves, and seeds are the culprit. Affected pets will likely show signs of dilated pupils, breathing issues, panting, and shock.

Apricot: Keep dogs, cats, and horses away from apricot stems, leaves, and seeds, which if eaten may result in dilated pupils, respiratory issues, panting, and shock.

Castor Bean: This plant is highly toxic, but only rarely ingested by pets, according to UC Davis Veterinary Medicine.

Holly (berries): This holiday favorite may cause vomiting, diarrhea, and depression.

Ivy: This climbing plant may produce side effects such as vomiting, abdominal issues, drooling, and diarrhea in pets.

Marijuana: Pets who ingest cannabis may suffer from issues with their nervous system, lack of coordination, vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, a faster heart rate, seizures, and possibly a coma.

Orange: If consumed, animals may experience vomiting, diarrhea, depression, and light sensitivity.

If you have any of these plants, consider moving them a room your pets don't have access to, or giving them away to a friend without pets.

See more comprehensive lists of plants that are poisonous to pets from the ASPCA and the Humane Society.

More on Pet Care Around the Home

Poisonous Foods for Dogs
Poisonous Foods for Cats
Cat Proof Your Breakables

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.

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