It may be hard to tell, what with the weather patterns and all, but Spring is almost here! With Spring comes flowers, and with flowers comes the Pet Poison Hotline. Many flowers are toxic to dogs and/or cats.
First, let’s focus on crocus!
Crocuses are one of the first plants to start blooming in the spring, and thus call attention to themselves. The Spring Crocuses are members of the Iridaceae Family, and will cause gastrointestinal distress. Dogs and cats will have symptoms of drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea. Rarely will eating the Spring Crocus be fatal, but they sure will make your pet uncomfortable. The Autumn Crocus, however, is a member of the Liliacene Family, and can be much more dangerous to your pets, and can include fatality.
April 16th is Easter this year, so the Easter Lilies will be out soon. I think most of you already know that the Easter Lily (as well as other Lilium species, and Hemerocallis species) are highly toxic to cats. Dogs get by with some stomach aches or maybe vomiting and diarrhea, but cats can die. Keep Easter Lilies someplace where everyone can admire their beauty, but where the cats cannot get to them! According to Lauren Baker, DVM, at the Angell Memorial Hospital, Easter lilies, and their kin, can cause Acute Kidney Failure and possibly death in a very short period of time. She recommends that even if you aren’t sure, if you think your cat may have eaten part of a Lily, get them to an emergency center as soon as possible, so that treatment can begin immediately.
Calla Lilies and Peace Lilies are different Genus and species. While theoretically, these plants could cause kidney failure if enough were eaten, they usually cause some stomach irritation, and irritation in the mouth.
As you begin working in your garden, keep a close eye on your bulbs. The bulbs of Tulips, Daffodils, Narcissus, and Hyacinths all give off a sweet smell that can attract your pets. If eaten (by cats or dogs), any of these will cause nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. The more that is ingested, the more you could see an increase in heart rate, an increase in respiratory rate, or even cardiac arrhythmias.
In summary, keep your pets away from lilies, and away from the bulbs of other plants. Also, for any other plants, or any other potentially hazardous materials, keep this number on hand:
Pet Poison Hotline: (800) 213-6680 The call will cost about $40.00, and will frequently save the pet’s life.
There is also a great list of toxic and non-toxic plants on the ASPCA website: www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants
John R. Gaudion, Office Manager