Thursday, May 31, 2012

Plants That Are Poisonous To Dogs

Dogs need exercise and most enjoy being outdoors. While dogs must have time outdoors, it is important to supervise them to avoid accidental ingestion of poisonous landscape plants. Indoor plants can also be a problem when dogs live inside the home. Many popular indoor plants are actually toxic to animals. While plants and flowers beautify our surroundings, then can have potentially serious effects on domestic pets. The symptoms associated with plant poisoning largely depends on the type of plant ingested, the size of the dog and how much of the plant was consumed. There are some types of plants that are more toxic to dogs than others. If possible, avoid placing these plants in or around your home to prevent accidental ingestion.

Ornamental Plant Dangers
Woody ornamentals are often used outdoors as hedges and specimen trees. However, there are several types of woody ornamental plants that are extremely toxic to dogs. Azaleas, Chinaberry tree, box, privet, oleander, sago palm, laburnum, horsechestnut, wisteria and rhododendron are all ornamental plants that can cause plant poisoning in dogs. Consuming any portion of these plants will result in serious symptoms in dogs and could even have fatal consequences.

Poisonous Flowers
Flowers are often used outdoors to add color to flower beds, as a border around trees or may be used to line driveways. Colorful flowers are often cut and placed in vases inside the home, as well. However, some of the most popular plants should never be placed in a home with pets or planted outdoors within easy reach. Tulip, Virginia creeper, foxglove, Autumn crocus, Lily of the Valley, larkspur, chrysanthemum, stinging nettles, rhubarb and pothos are all capable of making dogs extremely ill or causing them to develop other conditions that can be fatal. Hemlock, mushrooms, English ivy, cyclamen, castor bean, dumbcane, jimsonweed, kalanchoe, yew and mistletoe are all poisonous to dogs as well.

Symptoms
While the symptoms of plant poisoning in dogs can vary slightly depending on the type of plant ingested, there are some common symptoms to look out for. Plants that are mildly toxic may produce symptoms such as lethargy, loss of appetite, excessive drooling, mouth irritation, nausea, diarrhea, weakness and vomiting. More serious symptoms may also arise after consumption of poisonous plants. Tremors, convulsions, problems swallowing, cardiac arrhythmia and organ damage may also occur. Certain species of plants can cause kidney and liver failure that can lead to death.

Diagnosis And Treatment
It is difficult to tell which parts of plants contain the most toxic substances. Certain species contain toxins only in the seeds, others have toxins in the leaves and flowers as well. Just how severe poisoning symptoms are depends on how much of the plant is eaten and the dog's overall health and body weight. Anyone who suspects plant poisoning in their dog, must contact a veterinarian at once for advice. Waiting until severe symptoms appear can be a fatal mistake many dog owners make. If possible, always take a portion of the ingested plant or substance to the veterinarian, which can speed up the diagnosis.

There are several other toxic substances that most people have around their homes. Many dog owners feed their dog table food as a treat. However, studies have shown that dogs may experience poisoning symptoms after consuming grapes, garlic and tomatoes. Macadamia nuts can cause dogs to experience sudden and severe pain in their hind legs. Many lawn insecticides are also poisonous when ingested. These products can cause tremors and seizures in dogs shortly after exposure. Old fishing weights and paint can cause dogs to suffer from lead poisoning. Veterinarians have medications that must be administered quickly to remove the lead from the dog's body.

Conclusion
Avoid placing potentially hazardous plants inside your home or in your garden to avoid plant poisoning in your dog. Unfortunately, many plants are difficult for dogs to resist tasting especially curious puppies. If you do have poisonous plants in your home or garden, always supervise your dog to be sure he does not consume any portion of the plant.

This article was written by Jet Russell who blogs for StorageMart. In his spare time he likes to write articles ranging on all different topics. He has owned many dogs, and takes enjoyment in helping to train dogs.

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