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Poisonous houseplants for dogs & cats

Reading time: 10 minutes

Summer sun Cactus. That's so carefree to say. But when our house plants start to bloom and open during this sunny season, it can be quite dangerous for our four-legged friends. A wide variety of flowers and plants can cause poisoning to our furry friends either through their leaves, flowers or sap. Depending on whether you have a dog or a cat at home, the dangerous plants also differ.

dogs

For our beloved dogs, contact with a harmful plant can happen quickly. The leaves are often nibbled, which can already contain toxins, an example of this is the rubber tree. Whether intentionally or accidentally, pots are sometimes knocked over or flowers fall down on us. In this case, contact or even eating of the tubers and bulbs may occur. Amaryllis and lily are particularly dangerous in this category. The third variant of toxin transfer is the milky sap of plants. A lick of open stems, leaves or flowers is often enough. Examples of these include the poinsettia and the Christ thorn.

The following are the most common poisonous houseplants for dogs:

  • agave
  • amaryllis
  • azalea
  • Birch fig, strangler fig and all other types of ficus
  • Christ star, Christ thorn
  • Clivie
  • Ivy plant
  • Flamingo flower
  • window leaf
  • geranium
  • Rubber tree
  • hydrangea
  • Lilies (all types)
  • Orchids (all types)
  • Christmas star

Cats

The same applies to cats as to dogs. Here too, contact with the poison can occur through the leaves and flowers as well as through the tubers or the milky sap. Cats also tend to knock small potted plants off the windowsill or table. This is often followed by contact with the toxins.

The following are the most common poisonous houseplants for cats:

  • Avocado (plant, leaves and fruit are highly poisonous to cats!)
  • azalea
  • begonia
  • Boxwood
  • ivy
  • window leaf
  • Rubber tree
  • hyacinth
  • Cacti
  • crocus
  • primrose
  • Orchids
  • Christmas star

Effect

Not all of the plants listed are immediately harmful or even fatal to our furry friends, because as is often the case here: the dose makes the poison. In addition, the location and care of the flower can also determine how high the dosage of the poison is. Last but not least, the factors age, size, weight and health of our four-legged friends also play an important role.

The typical first symptoms of poisoning can vary, based on the factors just mentioned. However, you should keep an eye on your favorite for the following changes:

  • restlessness
  • apathy
  • Heavy saliva
  • Vomiting/diarrhea
  • Tremble
  • Disorientation

In cases of severe or advanced poisoning, the symptoms can worsen. This can lead to breathing difficulties that could end in respiratory arrest or circulatory problems that lead to shock or coma.

Measures

If you notice poisoning from a plant, you should consult a veterinarian immediately. It is advisable – if possible – to take a sample of the eaten plant with you. It is also important to remain calm. Especially if your furry friend has trouble breathing or has a racing pulse, you have to show them that you are there and you should talk to them gently.

Charcoal tablets can often save lives. In many cases of poisoning, the tablets can prevent the poison from entering the circulatory system because the carbon particles concentrate the toxin. The contaminated carbon particles are later excreted in bound form.

Conclusion

If possible, it is best to avoid poisonous plants. If you can't separate at all, try placing the plants in inaccessible places. And remember, stay calm, administer charcoal tablets and pack a sample of the poison. Then hopefully nothing bad will happen. Because for us, as always, every household has its own healthy four-legged friend!

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