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Published: December 31, 1969
Spring Toxins to Avoid for
Excerpts from writing by Erica Cargill, CVT & Justine Lee, DVM, DACVECC
Spring is just around the corner! Plant bulbs are just as excited to break through the ground to add some color to our yards as we are to see some greenery! That said, we need to be aware of potential dangers spring plants can be for our pets. Here is a list of some of the most common spring plants and their toxicities so you can pet-proof your garden and keep your pet safe!
Tulips & Hyacinth
There is no specific antidote, but with veterinary care (including rinsing the mouth, anti-vomiting medication, and possibly subcutaneous fluids) animals can do quite well.
Ingestion of the bulb, plant, or flower can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and even possible cardiac arrhythmias or respiratory depression. If exposure or symptoms are witnessed, seek veterinary care.
There are dangerous and benign lilies out there, and it is important to know the difference. Peace, Peruvian, and Calla lilies contain crystals that cause minor symptoms, such as irritation to the mouth and surrounding areas that results in minor drooling. The more dangerous and potentially fatal lilies are "true lilies" which include Tiger, Day, Asiatic, Easter, and Japanese Show lilies – all of which are highly toxic to cats! Even small ingestions (2-3 petals or leaves) can result in severe kidney failure. Seek immediate veterinary care!
There are two Crocus plants: spring bloomers (Crocus species) and autumn bloomers (Colchicum autumnale). The spring plants are more common and can cause GI upset including vomiting and diarrhea. The autumn variety are highly toxic and can cause severe vomiting, GI bleeding, liver and kidney damage, and respiratory failure. If you are unsure which plant your pet has ingested seek immediate veterinary care. Signs can either be immediate or take days to appear.
Lily of the Valley
Ingesting this plant can cause vomiting, diarrhea, a drop in heart rate, severe cardiac arrhythmias, and possible seizures. Pets should be examined by a veterinarian and treated symptomatically when exposure is in question.
In Addition… Fertilizers!
Most fertilizers are not very toxic (resulting in minor GI irritation when consumed) but some fertilizers can be fatal without treatment. Here are a few ingredients to be aware of so you know what toxins to look for.
*Blood Meal, Bone Meal
*Rose and Plant Fertilizers
If you are worried your pet may have gotten into anything poisonous, please call us at 805-683-7788 or the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680 with any questions or concerns.