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Mother Nature's danger

by Melanie Dziengo

(May 1, 2019)


Warmer weather means fresh air, a change of seasons, new plants, and a whole new world for curious animals. But, there are dangers with house and garden plants. More than 700 plants are harmful to our furry friends. Here are six plants you shouldn’t have if you have a pet.  


Picture courtesy of Pixabay

  1. Baby’s Breath: While beautiful with graduation flowers, cats’ gastrointestinal tracts can become irritated if they ingest baby’s breath. Should your kitty eat the plant, the signs to look for are vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and depression.

    Picture courtesy of Pixabay

  2. Aloe Vera: Used as an alternative medicine, and for healing sunburns and cuts, aloe vera is another plant you should be cautious about. According to the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, symptoms can appear in six to 12 hours. Signs to look for in case of consumption are vomiting, depression, kidney failure, and changes in urine colour.


Picture courtesy of Pixabay

3. Apricot: Fruit trees always mean jam throughout the winter. However, the plant’s stems, leaves, and seeds are toxic to cats because they all contain cyanide. If you have an apricot tree or buy apricots, symptoms you should be on the lookout for include mucous that is brick red in colour, dilated pupils, trouble breathing, difficulty breathing, and shock.



Picture courtesy of Pixabay

  1. Azalea: A popular garden flower, azaleas are a  hidden danger to dogs. According to the Pet Poison Helpline, the flower has neurotoxins that “disrupt sodium channels affecting the skeletal and cardiac muscle.” Symptoms to look for are vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, tremors, and heart failure.

    Picture courtesy of Pixabay

  2. Tomato plant: Don’t worry if you have ripened tomatoes in your fridge! The part that is toxic to man’s best friend is the actual plant, and more specifically, the green part of the plant. However, a large amount needs to be consumed by your dog. In case it does happen, symptoms to watch out for include vomiting and diarrhea, hypersalivation, lethargy, weakness, dilated pupils, and a slow heart rate.

    Picture courtesy of Pixabay

3. Marijuana (THC):  Even though it’s been legal for close to a year, there are dangers hidden behind your high. According to Pet Poison Helpline, even smoking weed around your dogs can be toxic. Products with THC or butane hash oil are also something you should watch out for. Weed poisoning symptoms include vomiting, looking dazed, glassy eyes, low body temperature, and seizures.


If you suspect your pet has ingested these or other plants, it is vital to get the animal to your veterinarian as soon as possible.






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