Pets, Plants, and Potential Hazards
By Chris Jones
Help keep your pet safe from hazardous plant consumption during the summer months when plants and flowers are abundant. The following information and list of toxic plants is reprinted with permission from the National Animal Poison Control Center (NAPCC), a non-profit, cost-recovery program at the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois in Urbana, IL 61801. The NAPCC has a wide range of information specific to animal poisoning, not only from plants, but also pesticides, drugs, medications, metals, cleaning products and other poisonous substances. If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, you should call your veterinarian or you can call the NAPCC. This is not a free call. (See list of phone call charges below.) Be ready to provide:
Telephone numbers for the NAPCC are: 1-800-548-2423 ($30 per case, credit card only; free follow-up calls until problem is resolved) and 1-900-680-0000 ($20 for 5 minutes; $2.95 per minute thereafter.) A note of caution: Plants are often sprayed with insecticides and treated with fertilizers. These products may mask or alter the adverse clinical signs observed in the animals exposed to a hazardous plant. Even non-toxic plant material may cause physical irritation to the gastrointestinal system and subsequent mild stomach upset. Also, sometimes small animals ingest plant material as a result of a developing illness; therefore, the signs of illness following a plant ingestion are not always plant induced. Plants often incriminated as causing allergic dermatitis or skin rashes in humans may or may not cause similar problems in animals.
The list below of potentially hazardous plants is in no way complete; however, it does represent the most commonly kept plants. Accurate identification of the plant in question is most essential. Local floral shop and plant nursery personnel are valuable sources of information regarding plant identification. To obtain a more complete list of plants, both toxic and non-toxic, including their scientific names and associated problems/hazards, write the NAPCC, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801. Enclose a check for $10 payable to NAPCC.
Aloe Vera (Medicine Plant), Amaryllis, Andromeda japonica, Apple (seeds), Apple Leaf Croton, Asparagus Fern, Autumn Crocus, Avocado (fruit & pit), Azalea , Baby's Breath, Bird of Paradise, Birdnest sansovioria, Bittersweet, Branching Ivy, Buckeye, Buddhist Pine, Caladium, Calla Lily, Carnation, Castor Bean, Ceriman, Cherry (seeds & wilting leaves), Chinaberry Tree (berries, bark, leaves, flowers), Chinese Evergreen, Christmas cactus, Christmas Rose, Chrysanthemum, Cineraria, Clematis, Colcus, Cordatum, Corn Plant, Cornstalk Plant, Croton, Cuban Laurel, Cycads, Cyclamen, Daffodil, Daisy, Day Lily (cats), Dracaena, Dragon Tree, Dumb Cane (all types) (Dieffenbachia), Easter Lily (especially cats), Elaine, Elephant Ears, Emerald Feather, English Ivy, Fiddle-leaf Fig, Flamingo Plant, Florida Beauty, Foxlove, Geranium, German Ivy, Glacier Ivy, Glory Lilly, Golden Pothos, Hahn's Self-Branching English Ivy, Heavenly Bamboo, Hibiscus, Holly, Hosta, Hurricane Plant, Hyacinth, Hydrangea, Indian Laurel, Indian Rubber Plant, Iris, Japanese Show Lily (especially cats), Jade Plant, Jerusalem Cherry, Kalanchoe (Panda Bear Plant), Lily of the Valley, Macadamia nut, Madagascar Dragon Tree, Marble Queen, Marijuana, Miniature Croton, Mistletoe, Morning Glory, Mother-in-Law's Tongue, Narcissus, Needlepoint Ivy, Nephthytis, Nightshade, Norfolk Pine, Oleander, Onion, Oriental Lily (especially cats), Peace Lily, Peach (wilting leaves & pits), Pencil Cactus, Philodendron (all types), Plum (wilting leaves and seeds), Plumosa Fern, Poinsettia (low toxicity), Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, Pothos, Precatory Bean, Primrose (Primula), Red Emerald, Red Princess, Rhododendron, Ribbon Plant, Sago Palm, Satin Pothos, Schefflera, Silver Pothos, String of Pearls/Beads, Sweetheart Ivy, Swiss Cheese Plant, Taro Vine, Tiger Lily (especially cats), Tomato Plant (green fruit, stem & leaves), Tulip, Variegated Rubber Plant, Wandering Jew, Weeping Fig, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Yew, Yucca
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