We know that there are some plants that can be dangerous to our pets. Many a curious cat, although usually picky about what they eat, may sometimes decide to chomp down on the leaves of your new bouquet brought into the house. Although meant to be decorative and not chewed on, you may be surprised at just how many flowers and plants are poisonous to our furry friends. Many toxic plants are just irritants; they can cause inflammation of the mouth, skin or stomach; which can result in swelling, redness or itchiness.

However, if the toxin directly affects a particular organ, the symptoms may be more specific. For example, if the intestines are affected, you will see diarrhea and maybe vomiting. If the kidneys are affected, you may note excessive urinating and drinking, or not urinating at all in severe cases.

If the plant is considered poisonous, assume then all parts of the plant are toxic. When in doubt it is best to remove the plant from your home.

If you see your pet eating a plant, or suspect that they have nibbled on one, within the past couple hours, please call your veterinarian. It will be critical to identify the plant, which will help to determine treatment. Even bringing the plant with you to our health centre, may help with identification. Do not wait for symptoms to show, as this could be too late to help your furry friend.

Here are some helpful links that may be used in the event of toxic plant ingestion:

Written by Airdrie Animal Health Centre