Considering how intelligent animals seem to be as regards to recognizing some general dangers, many pet owners may erroneously believe that their pets will know which plants in their environment may be toxic or dangerous. Unfortunately, this is not entirely true because a pet’s curiosity can be more pressing than their sense of danger. Add to this the fact that many pet owners are unaware of plant toxicity levels in the Spring plants around them, and some veterinarians brace themselves for an inevitable inundation of emergency calls about ill pets during the Spring season.
Dangerous Spring Plants
The ASPCA has a complete list of all plants that are toxic to household pets. Some of the more common toxic plants one may find in Somerset County include:
● Lilies. While non-toxic to dogs, lilies are incredibly toxic to cats. Eating just a few leaves can cause fatal kidney failure, often indicated by drooling and vomiting. Prompt veterinary care may result in blood tests and intravenous fluids that may save the cat’s life.
● Calla lilies, peace lilies and lily of the valley. These plants are not toxic for the kidneys, but they can cause other severe reactions in pets and should not be kept in or near homes with pets.
● Sago palms. These are often sold in most garden centers, and both the seed and the leaves are extremely toxic to pets and children. The cycasin in sago palms can cause rapid liver failure in dogs–with symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, weakness, trouble walking, seizures, tremors, and loss of appetite occurring within fifteen minutes of ingestion. A pet’s chance of survival after consuming any part of the sago palm is roughly fifty percent, as long as they receive immediate and aggressive treatment.
● Tulips and hyacinth bulbs, daffodils and crocus can also be dangerously poisonous to pets.
● Rhododendrons and azaleas are highly toxic to pets when consumed.
In addition to these above-mentioned plants, bone meal, fertilizer and lawn chemicals can be highly toxic and dangerous to household pets. Certain herbicides have been linked to bladder cancer in dogs and since many pets eat grass, or walk on it and then lick their wet feet, they inevitably ingest the chemicals sprayed there. Some weed killers and other sprays are advertised as being safe for pets and children, once they are fully dry, but the truth is that it is best to avoid using anything on one’s own lawn if you have pets, and ensure that any dog parks you frequent are not sprayed with toxic chemicals.