Plants and Foods Toxic to Pets
Anyone who has ever mowed a lawn in South Florida in the summer and walked out four days later to find it lapping at the knees knows what a profuse growing season this is. The other downside to all that cutting, pruning, and weeding becoming a full-time job is the large variety of pretty but poisonous plants that can be found in the garden. Not only that, but the many chemicals and pesticides we use to control the growth can also be extremely deadly.
These are just some of the hazards awaiting your pet. Here is a quick reference guide to the more common house and garden plants and foods (and other substances) that are toxic to most all animals. If you have these plants or foods, you need not dispose of them--just keep them away from your pets (and your children). Although it is impossible to list all possible poisons, these guidelines may help you begin to remove or place out of reach most potential problems.
Post close at hand your veterinarian's number, the number of an emergency clinic, and the number for the National Animal Poison Control Center. Before you call, note the time your pet was exposed to the toxin, the type of product ingested, the manufacturer's name and any ingredients you can find listed on packaging. To reach the National Poison Control Center call (800) 548-2423. If you need to speak to a veterinarian there, this service will be billed to a credit card. An alternate number is (900) 680-0000. A veterinarian's services on this line will cost a flat fee for the first five minutes, and an additional fee per minute for each additional minute. These charges will be billed to your phone bill. (Call them for current pricing.)
For a comprehensive list of toxic and non-toxic plants, visit ASPCA.org
What to do if your pet is poisoned?
1. Don’t panic. Rapid response is important, but panicking can interfere with the process of helping your pet.
2. Take 30 to 60 seconds to safely collect and have at hand any material involved. This may be of great benefit to your vet and/or APCC toxicologists, as they determine what poison or poisons are involved. In the event that you need to take your pet to a local veterinarian, be sure to take the product’s container with you. Also, collect in a sealable plastic bag any material your pet may have vomited or chewed.
3. If you witness your pet consuming material that you suspect might be toxic, do not hesitate to seek emergency assistance, even if you do not notice any adverse effects. Sometimes, even if poisoned, an animal may appear normal for several hours or for days after the incident.
4. Be ready with your pet’s breed, weight, age, sex, and the symptoms. Have information about the exposure, the agent involved if known, the amount and the time elapsed since exposure.
Keep the following list handy.
* Indicates that a substance is especially dangerous and can be fatal
- Alcohol (all beverages, ethanol, methanol, isopropyl)
- Amaryllis bulb*
- Autumn crocus (Colchicum Autumnale)*
- Avocado (leaves, seeds, stem, skin)*(fatal to birds)
- Azalea (entire rhododendron family)
- Bird of Paradise
- Bleeding heart*
- Bracken fern
- Buttercup (Ranunculus)
- Calla lily*
- Castor bean* (can be fatal if chewed)
- Chinese sacred or heavenly bamboo*
- Choke cherry, unripe berries*
- (a natural source of pyrethrins)
- Crocus bulb
- Croton (Codiaeum sp.)
- Delphinium, larkspur, monkshood*
- Dumb cane (Dieffenbachia)*
- Elderberry, unripe berries*
- English ivy (All Hedera species of ivy)
- Fig (Ficus)
- Four-o'clocks (Mirabilis)
- Foxglove (Digitalis)*
- Grapes/raisins in large amounts
- Hyacinth bulbs
- Holly berries
- Iris corms
- Jimson weed*
- Lily (bulbs of most species)
- Lupine species
- Marijuana or hemp (Cannabis)
- Mistletoe berries*
- Morning glory*
- Mountain laurel
- Narcissus, daffodil (Narcissus)
- Oak* (remove bark for use as a bird perch)
- Pencil cactus/plant* (Euphorbia sp.)
- Philodendron (all species)*
- Poinsettia (many hybrids, avoid them all)
- Potato (leaves & stem)
- Rhubarb leaves*
- Rosary Pea (Arbus sp.) (can be fatal if chewed)
- Scheffelera (umbrella plant)*
- Shamrock (Oxalis sp.)*
- Spurge (Euphorbia sp.)
- Tomatoes (leaves & stem)
- Other substances that are very harmful include (but are not limited to):
- Wood preservatives and shellac
- Rodent poison
- Chocolate, coffee, caffeine
- Grapes and Raisins
- Onion, garlic, chives
- Xylitol sweetener (in gum, candy, toothpaste)
- Yeast Dough
- Macadamia Nuts
- Raw/undercooked meat, eggs, bones
- Cigarettes and other nicotine products and smoke
- Fabric softeners
- Suntan lotion
- Laundry supplies
- Cleansers, bleach, and disinfectants
- Drain Cleaners
- Many human drugs like NSAIDs
- Crayons (dangerous for birds)
- Rust (keep birds away)
- Fumes are dangerous to birds: smoke-filled air, insecticide spray, deodorizers, spray cleaners, fumes from fresh paint, gas, and overheated Teflon (very deadly).
Content copyright 2016. Animal Health Center of Port St Lucie. All rights reserved.