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Plants Poisonous to Pets

April 26, 2017

Ahhh, spring! A beautiful season filled with sunshine, warmth and beautiful flowers and plants. It’s the perfect time of year to step out with your furry friends to enjoy nature. While out and about, be sure to keep in mind that not all flowers and plants are safe for our furry little ones to play with (or gnaw, as my dog likes to do). Listed below are a few common yet poisonous plants and flowers to keep your pets away from, both indoors and outdoors.

Spring Crocus
spring crocus
Ingestion may cause general gastrointestinal upset, which includes both vomiting and diarrhea.

Autumn crocus
autumn crocus
The spring blooming Crocus should not be confused with its close relative, the Autumn Crocus, which contains Colchicine. This is a very toxic plant that may cause severe vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, liver damage, kidney damage and respiratory failure.

Eating just a few leaves may result in diarrhea, vomiting and excessive drooling. These symptoms may progress further to induce coma or death.

It is the roots of this plant, not the flower, that may cause the most harm. If ingested, the cyclamen root may cause severe vomiting and death.

When ingested, this succulent plant may cause diarrhea, vomiting and heart arrhythmias.



day lily
There is a wide variety of Lilies — some very dangerous and others benign.

Calla Lilies, Peace Lilies and Peruvian Lilies
Calla Lilies, Peace Lilies and Peruvian Lilies contain oxalate crystals. When ingested, these types of Lilies may cause minor symptoms such as irritation in the mouth, tongue, pharynx and esophagus. Typically, these irritations will make your pet drool.

Tiger Lilies, Day Lilies, Asiatic Lilies, Easter Lilies and Japanese Show Lilies
These are very toxic and dangerous to your pet, particularly to cats. Ingesting just a small amount of these plants (just a flower petal or leaf) will cause advanced kidney failure. If you suspect that your cat has eaten even a trace amount of a Lily, bring him to a veterinarian immediately along with a sample of the plant.

Oleander is a popular outdoor plant with leaves and flowers. These leaves and flowers are very toxic. If ingested, they may cause vomiting, a slowed heart rate and death.

This popular plant is often found outdoors as well as indoors. If ingested, it may cause oral irritation, nausea, drooling, vomiting and difficulty swallowing.

These common flowers contain lycorine which, is an alkaloid with emetic properties. Strong emetic properties may cause vomiting in your pet. Ingestion of the bulb, flower or plant mat lead to severe vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, cardiac arrhythmias and a lowered respiratory rate. The crystals found in the outer portion of the bulbs may cause severe oral irritation and excessive drooling.

Lily of the Valley
lily of the valley
This plant, the Convallaria majalis, contains cardiac glycosides. The symptoms associated with cardiac glycosides are vomiting, diarrhea, lowered heart rate, cardiac arrhythmias and seizures.

Sago Plant
This plant is popular in warmer climates and when ingested, the leaves and seeds may cause vomiting, bloody stools, damage to the stomach lining, liver failure and death.

Tulips and Hyacinths
The toxic portion of these plants is concentrated near to the bulbs. Ingestion of these bulbs may cause irritation to the mouth and esophagus. Drooling, vomiting, increased heart rate, changes in respiration and diarrhea may present, depending upon how much of the plant was consumed.

Should you see any of these symptoms in your pets, bring them to a veterinarian immediately for care. The sooner that you bring your pet to a veterinarian, the sooner they will be able to intervene to provide treatment and greatly improve the prognosis of your loved one.

It’s also important to bring a sample of the plant (in a tightly closed container or bag) with you. This will assist your veterinarian in diagnosing the type of poison ingested and may save your pets life.

If you’re not sure what your pet has eaten, bring your pet to a veterinarian immediately, as some symptoms may not present instantly and may develop over the coming hours or days.

Some types of intervention that your veterinarian may perform are decontamination (induced vomiting and administering binders, such as activated charcoal), aggressive intravenous fluids treatment, kidney monitoring tests and additional varieties of supportive care.
So, enjoy the outdoors while keep a close eye on your beloved pets!


Disclaimer: This blog is meant for informational and educational purposes only, and does not constitute medical advice. Phinney’s Friends is not a veterinarian. If you believe your pet has consumed a poisonous plant, contact your veterinarian immediately.

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