Which Plants Are Toxic For Our Animals?

Our fluffy friends are curious and like to discover and taste new flavors. They may occasionally take a bite off the plants you have at home. However, some of those plants can be outright toxic for cats and dogs, and some others harmful to their health. In this guide you will find out which plants to avoid having at home when hosting a pet and what to do in case your pet ends up poisoning  himself.

Hydrangea

What is important to know about this beautiful plant is that all parts of it are toxic for cats and dogs both, especially the leaves and flower buds. Signs of poisoning from this plant are hyper salivation, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea. If your cat or dog ingests a large quantity of it, he may encounter some long term heart and nerve issues.

Cycas

The cycas is a slow-growing tree that looks like a small palm tree. Originally from tropical and subtropical areas of Africa and Asia, it is dangerous for dogs only. Symptoms usually appear 2-3 days after ingestion and usually include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, that can then transform into tremors and gait disorders. 

Oak and Acorns

There is a great diversity of oak trees in the world, some of which can be more toxic than others for our pets. Even if oak trees can be dangerous for cats, it is usually dogs that end up getting poisoned by gobbling up acorns for fun or because of gluttony. Young acorns are usually more toxic than mature ones. This is due to the higher amount of tannins in youg acorns. The tannins release pyrogallol through hydrolysis and this substance is generally toxic for your pet’s kidneys but can also affect the liver, especially for dogs. The symptoms of acorn poisoning usually include vomiting, constipation and diarrhea. It is important to prevent your dog from playing with acorns in your garden or when you take them on walks.

Boxwood

Although found everywhere in town and country, this shrub is quite poisonous to animals. All parts of this plant contain toxic alkaloids, which can have a paralyzing effect. Symptoms of intoxication will appear within hours of ingestion. These will be mainly digestive signs and in some of the most serious cases, nervous disorders can occur, such as convulsions or paralysis. The bitter taste of boxwood generally repels animals, but one must remain vigilant. A few grams of leaves can be sufficient to be fatal for a small dog. So when you go for a walk, be careful about what your animal swallows and if in doubt, reach out to your vet.

Lily of the Valley

Although it seems harmless, this plant can lead to fatal poisoning for dogs and is especially toxic for cats. Poisoning occurs by ingestion, causing damage to the digestive tracts and to the heart (cardiotoxic heterosides). All parts of this plant are toxic, even the water in the vase is. First symptoms of poisoning will appear between 15 minutes and 6 hours after the ingestion. Symptoms will usually include repeated vomiting and diarrhea, and may be accompanied by abdominal pain. 

What to do in Case of Poisoning?

You should reach out to your veterinarian as soon as you suspect poisoning – seeing your pet eating a toxic plant or experiencing some of the symptoms described above -. Your veterinarian will be able to assess the seriousness of the situation and decide on what course of action to take. Do not try to force your pet to vomit or to treat him with medicines you have at home. Also, try to minimize the amount of stress for your pet at this time. Let him get some rest and keep a close observation of the symptoms he may be experiencing.

Does your pet suffer from itching or digestive problems even though it has not been in contact with toxic plants? It may be linked to his diet. We advise you to take a look at hypoallergenic food such as Tomojo

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