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Poisonous Plants to Pets and Helpful Tips for Pet Allergies

Posted March 21, 2015

Spring is here!

After the long winter some of us have endured, we can’t help but feel excited for a beautiful spring, filled with warm weather and colorful flowers; but unfortunately some of those beautiful flowers and plants can be poisonous and can have a negative impact on our beloved pets.

Effects of poisoning can result in discomfort, gastrointestinal issues, long term illness, debilitation, reproductive problems, weight loss, and most severely death. Of course we aren’t suggesting a complete ban on flowers, but at NHV we seek to empower you with knowledge—it can save a life. At the end of this blog you will find a list of common plants to be aware of. We hope you will find this guide helpful.

It’s important to note that not all plants need to be ingested to cause adverse health reactions to your pets, simply coming into contact with the skin can cause mild to more severe reactions. Be cautious when gardening; and make sure toxic plants and leaves are cleaned up and out of reach of pets. Remember to be extra vigilant with your pet babies, since curious kittens and puppies are most at risk of ingesting and/ or coming into contact with poisonous plants and flowers.

If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, please seek professional care immediately. Symptoms of poisoning can vary from vomiting and diarrhea to weakness, lethargy, and collapse.

For after-emergency recovery, we recommend NHV Milk Thistle for liver support, NHV BK Detox to clear toxins, and NHV Tripsy for kidney support.

Pet Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies can also impact the health and wellbeing of your pets; however, it’s an issue that many pet owners aren’t aware of. While human allergies usually involve the respiratory system, allergies in cats and dogs normally involve skin irritation. Skin can become inflamed and hair loss, open sores, and scabbing can occur.

To help with allergies we suggest the following:

  • Wiping down paws completely to remove allergens and toxins from paw pads, which can spread on the skin as your pet grooms himself or herself.
  • Use non-toxic cleaning agents rather than average household cleaners, which can contain harsh chemicals.
  • Support their immunity with healthy anti-inflammatory diets. A good idea would be to add NHV Stimmune and NHV Petomega 3 to their daily diet to increase immunity naturally.
  • We also suggest the Allergies Kit by NHV

Poisonous Plants (Please note this list isn’t all-inclusive)

Plant Symptoms Causes/ Toxic Principles
Baby’s Breadth Diarrhea, vomiting, anorexia, lethargy, depression. The GI tract is irritated from the gyposenin contained within the plant.
Begonia Excessive drooling caused by irritation of the mouth, tongue, and lips; vomiting, difficulty swallowing. The tubers are the most toxic part of this plant. This plant contains insoluble oxalates.
Carnations Mild gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive drooling; mild dermatitis. This plant doesn’t necessarily need to be ingested to cause distress—if your cat or dog’s skin comes into contact with carnations, it may develop dermatitis.
Cyclamen Gastrointestinal irritation, including intense vomiting. In some cases death has been reported. The root of this plant contains the highest levels of toxicity.
Daffodil Vomiting, salvation, diarrhea; large ingestions cause convulsions, low blood pressure, tremors and cardiac arrhythmias. These flowers contain lycorine, an alkaloid with strong emetic properties (something that triggers vomiting). Crystals are found in the outer layer of the bulbs, similar to hyacinths, which cause severe tissue irritation and secondary drooling. Ingestion of the bulb, plant or flower can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and even possible cardiac arrhythmias or respiratory depression.
Gladiola Salivation, vomiting, drooling, lethargy, diarrhea. Gladiolas are more poisonous to dogs than cats. The bulb is the most toxic part of this plant.
Lilies Kidney failure, drooling, vomiting, loss of appetite, increased urination – followed by a lack of urination after 1 to 2 days, dehydration. Highly toxic to cats, especially kittens. Lilies are not known to be toxic to dogs. Of greatest concern are Easter lilies, tiger lilies, and Asiatic lilies from the genus Hemerocallis (Hemerocallis sp.), which includes day lilies.
Lily of the Valley Vomiting, diarrhea, slowed heart rate, sezures, severe heart arrhythmias, and death. All parts of the plant, including petals, stamens, leaves, and pollen are poisnous to cats. Lily of the Valley contain cardiac glycosides, which could prove fatal to cats if ingested. This type of lily is different than “true” lily species such as the above and will not cause kidney failure. However, this plant is incredibly posinious to cats and dogs.
Morning Glory Gastrointestinal upset, agitation, tremors, disorientation, ataxia, anorexia, hallucinations, diarrhea, anemia, hepatic (liver) failure. Not all species of Morning Glory are poisonous, some can be quite dangerous when large amounts of seeds are ingested. The seeds from the flowers of some species contain the toxin, lysergic alkaloids. When ingested, clinical signs of incoordination, diarrhea, anemia and hepatic (liver) necrosis can be seen.
Oleander Drooling, nausea, vomiting, abnormal heart rate, cardiac arrhythmias, weakness, collapse, seizures, and death All parts of of Oleander are poisonous to dogs, cats, humans, horses, and cattle. Oleander contains poisons that affect the heart (specifically cardenolides or bufadienolides). Please note that even the water in the vase has been reported to cause toxicosis.
Pothos Oral irritation, intense burning and irritation of mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, lack of appetite, pawing at the mouth. Moderate to severe swelling of the lips, tongue, oral cavity, and upper airway may also be seen, making it difficult to breathe or swallow. Chewing or biting into the plant releases the crystals which penetrate tissue resulting in injury. These steroidal saponins and glycosides cause tissue irritation and possible swelling when chewed.
Tulips Intense gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions and cardiac abnormalities, increased heart rate, increased respiratory rate, difficulty breathing. Tulips contain allergenic lactones or similar alkaloids. The toxic principle of these plants is very concentrated in the bulbs (versus the leaf or flower).
Yew Drooling, vomiting, weakness, difficulty breathing, life-threatening changes in heart rate and blood pressure, dilated pupils, tremors, seizures, coma, death. All parts of the Yew plant (including the berries) contain taxines and are poisonous.

2 replies.

  1. Patti says:

    *Please include Oleander in your list. My yard is surrounded by it. I wasn’t aware of its toxicity until one of my cats chewed half a leaf and died two days later. A handful of leaves will kill a horse. People can die if they breathe the burning plant, etc

    1. Syndy says:

      *Hi Patti,
      Thanks for your comment and for sharing your story. We are so sorry to hear about your cat. We have added Oleander to our list. *NHV

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