Lotsa Dogs Lotsa Fun

Lotsa Dogs Lotsa Fun
The Big Dogs Wait at The Door

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Are There Poisonous Plants in Your Home?

As gardeners across the country say goodbye to summer, green thumbs and amateurs alike are scooping up houseplants to spice up the fall and winter months. They're also taking off their sunhats and dragging outdoor plans inside to protect them from upcoming dips in temperature. Plants are popular for their decorative, restorative, and air-cleaning properties, but many species are toxic to our curious furry friends. Soil and leaves attract dogs and cats who like to chew on vines and romp in the dirt. Here are some of the most poisonous best-sellers:

  • Lilies, including stargazer, tiger and Easter lilies. "Even with very small ingestions, severe kidney damage can result," according to Dr. Steven Hansen, veterinary toxicologist.

  • English ivy contains triterpenoid saponins which can cause vomiting, abdominal pain, hypersalivation and diarrhea if eaten.

  • Peace lily and pothos can cause irritation of the mouth, lips and tongue (peace lilies), and swelling of the GI tract (pothos).

  • Oleander is one of the most poisonous plants to pets and people. It can lead to GI irritation, abnormal heart function, hypothermia and even death.

Keep the nibbler in your life safe from toxic foliage by placing all plants out of reach. Or better yet, choose a nontoxic alternative to brighten your home. For a list of safe plants, go to http://www.aspca.org/: (Aug. 29th, 2008 News Alert, "Most Popular Poisonous Plants) where there's an alphabetical listing of safe house plants. As always, if you think your pet has ingested something poisonous, contact your vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center's 24-hour hotline at (888) 426-4435.

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