Now that Spring has officially arrived, it's time for gardening! However, many of the products we use in the garden, or even the plants we plant can be very dangerous to our pets. Pet proof your garden to keep your pet safe! Here are the Spring flowers to be cautious with:
Tulips and Hyacinths
These plants have toxins concentrated in the bulbs rather than the leaf or flower, so make sure your dog isn't digging up and eating bulbs. Tulip and hyacinth bulbs cause irritation to the mouth and esophagus with symptoms such as a large amount of drooling and vomiting and diarrhea. These symptoms can be severe and may require a visit in to see us for supportive care.
Every part of this plant is toxic - bulb, plant and flower. Eating daffodils causes severe vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain, and may even cause heart arrhythmias. Seeing or suspecting your pet of eating daffodils requires veterinary care.
Lily poisoning occurs in cats, but not in dogs or people. There are two different types of lilies out there: true lilies which are truly dangerous and include Easter, Tiger, Day, Asiatic, and Japanese Show, and the benign lilies which cause only mild mouth irritation and include Peace, Peruvian and Calla lilies. Lilies are often found in florist bouquets and it is very important to check for them before bringing them into your house. True lilies are highly toxic to cats and 2-3 petals or leaves or even a small amount of pollen can cause fatal kidney failure. The earlier the cat receives veterinary care the better. If you see your cat eating true lilies, it is a true emergency and you need to bring the cat and the plant (for identification purposes) in immediately!
The type of crocus that blooms in the spring is the most common type, and usually causes no more than mild gastrointestinal symptoms if eaten. However, the autumn crocus ,which blooms in the fall is highly toxic.
Lily of the Valley
This plant contains cardiac glycosides, and if eaten causes dangerous heart problems including a dramatically lowered heart rate and severe arrhythmias. If you suspect your pet has eaten this plant, it is a veterinary emergency!
Some of the products we use in the garden can also cause severe illness if eaten. Although blood and bone meal are "organic" ways to fertilize, they are from animal origin and are considered delicious by many pets. Blood meal eaten can cause vomiting and diarrhea or even severe pancreititis. It can also cause iron toxicity. Bone meal, when eaten, can form a cement like bone ball in the stomach that can become an obstruction...and require surgery to remove it. Rose and plant fertilizers often contain disulfodon - it only takes 1 teaspoon of a 1% solution to kill a Labrador sized dog. Organophosphates are also used, and they can be fatal if eaten. Most of pesticides/insecticides that come in spray cans cause no more than mild irritation BUT it is always important to read labels and check with us if there is exposure!
This is always a danger for our pets here in the Pacific Northwest. Even if you don't use it, be aware your neighbors may, and dogs in particular find this to be very palatable.
Metaldehyde is found in slug bait and it causes severe rapid symptoms when eaten. Agitation, tremors,seizures and a very high body temperature are frequently seen. This is a veterinary emergency and without treatment slug bait is deadly!
For more information visit petpoisonhotline.com