Animal Referral Hospital Brisbane

Mother’s Day greenery that’s toxic to pets

There are many plants and flowers which are toxic to dogs and cats. And since our pets often like to chew on inedible objects, especially new additions to their environment, it makes buying greenery for Mother’s Day difficult.

Here are some of the most common plants toxic to our furry friends. Please keep in mind this is by no means an exhaustive list and you should speak to your regular vet for a full list of plants toxic to animals.

Flowers

Lilies, tulips, daffodils, amaryllis, cyclamen and autumn crocus are just some of the popular store bought flowers which are toxic to pets.

Lilies in particular pose a significant risk to cats as even a small ingestion can result in acute kidney failure. Signs of lily ingestion include vomiting, weakness, disorientation and seizures. Lily ingestion is an emergency situation and your cat should be seen immediately by a vet.

The greenery used in bunches of flowers, such as asparagus fern, can also irritate your pet’s bellies.

Pink lilies with yellow centres

Indoor plants

Some of the lovely indoor plants that can irritate dog and cat bellies include the fiddle-leaf fig, dieffenbachia, philodendrons and Chinese evergreen. Your pet may drool and shake its head, appear in pain, have difficulty breathing, swelling of its face or vomiting.

Shrubs and climbers

These plants often live in the garden and can cause damage to your cat or dog if ingested. Examples includes oleander, azalea, ivy, yucca and lantana. Symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhoea, weakness, tremours and dilated pupils.

Succulents

They make for lovely indoor plants but the leaves of succulents such as mother-in-law’s tongue, aloe vera, jade plant, kalanchoe, string of pearls and certain cacti can be toxic to dogs and cats, resulting in intestinal upset. Vomiting, diarrhoea and pain are common symptoms. In severe cases, where a large quantity is ingested, you may see tremors/seizures, dilated pupils and abnormal heart rate.

Sago palm (cycads)

This common backyard palm tree is extremely toxic to dogs and cats, potentially causing liver failure and sadly death. Look out for vomiting, diarrhoea, blood in faeces, seizures or collapse.

If you suspect your pet has eaten a plant or flower, we advise checking with your vet immediately to see if they require monitoring or treatment.

Restricting your pet’s access to plants and flowers indoors is important and will ensure peace of mind when it comes to them sneaking a leaf or two.

We also recommend doing a check of your backyard and identifying the plant species your pet has access to. You can then cross check these with your vet to ensure your pet’s safety while they are unsupervised.

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