2002 Articles

Items Toxic To Your Pet

With the holidays upon us, it is always a good time to remind ourselves of the plants that are toxic to animals. Here is a listing of some of the more common ones you may find around your house, particularly over the holidays.

Aladium Amarylillis
Angels Trumpets
Apple Leaf Croton
Asparagus Fern
Autumn Crocus
Avacado (fruit & pit)
Baby’s Breath
Bird of Paradise
Branching Ivy
Buckey Buddis
Calla Lily
Castor Bean
Charming Dieffenbachia
Chinese Evergreen
Christmas Rose
Corn Plant
Cornstalk Plant
Cuban Laurel
Cutleaf Philadendron
Devil’s Ivy
Dracaena Palm
Dragon Tree
Dumb Cane
Easter Lily (in cats!!!)
Elephant Ears
Emerald Feather
English Ivy
Fig, Creeping
Fig, Weeping
Florida Beauty
Fruit Salad Plant
German Ivy
Giant Dumb Cane
Glacier Ivy
Gold Dieffenbachia
Gold Dust Dracaena
Golden Pothos
Hahn’s Self-Branching Ivy
Heartland Philodendron
Hemlock, Water
Hens & Chicks
Hurricane Plant
Hydrangea leaves
Indian Rubber Plant
Ivy, Boston
Ivy, English
Ivy, Pathos
Janet Craig Dracaena
Japanese Show Lily (cats!!!)
Jerusalem Cherry
Lacy Tree Philodendron
Lily of the Valley
Madagascar Dragon Tree
Marble Queen
Mexican Breadfruit
Miniature Croton
Mistletoe berries
Morning Glory
Mother-in-law’s Tongue
Needlepoint Ivy
Oriental Lily (cats!!!)
Peace Lily
Pencil Cactus
Plumosa Fern
Poinsettia (low toxicity)
Poison Ivy
Poison Oak
Potato Plant (green fruit, stem and leaves)
Precatory Bean
Red Emerald
Red Margined Dracaena
Red Princess
Ribbon Plant
Saddle Leaf Philodendron
Sago Palm
Satin Pothos
Silver Pothos
Spider Plant
Spotted Dumb Cane
Stargazer Lilly (cats!!!)
String of Pearls
Striped Dracaena
Sweetheart Ivy
Swiss Cheese Plant
Taro Vine
Tiger Lily (cats!!!)
Tomato Plant (green fruit, stem and leaves)
Tree Philodendron
Tropic Snow Dieffenbachia
Tulip bulbs
Weeping Fig
Yew (American/English/Western)

Additional information is available through the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. They may be contacted at 888-4ANI-HELP OR 888-426-4435, or you can obtain additional information through their web site at: http://www.aspca.org/site/PageServer?pagename=apcc). They offer a unique, emergency hotline providing 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week telephone assistance to veterinarians and animal owners. The Center’s hotline veterinarians can quickly answer questions about toxic substances found in our everyday surroundings that can be dangerous to animals. The one caution for this is that there is a $45 consultation fee paid by the animal owner, veterinarian or product manufacturer.

If you have a question regarding a possible poison and your pet, you may also contact the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 for no fee. They are very receptive to telephone calls about pets and they even follow up with you later to see how things turned out.

If you suspect that your pet has been exposed to a poison, it is important not to panic. While rapid response is important, panicking generally interferes with the process of helping your pet. Take 30 to 60 seconds to safely collect and have at hand the material involved. This may be of great benefit to the Center professionals as they determine exactly what poison or poisons are involved.

In the event that you need to take your pet to your local veterinarian, be sure to take with you any product container. Also take any material your pet may have vomited or chewed, collected in a zip-lock bag. If your pet is seizing, losing consciousness, unconscious or having difficulty breathing, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. Most veterinarians are familiar with the consulting services of the Center. Depending on your particular situation, your local veterinarian may want to contact the Center personally while you bring your pet to the pet hospital.

When you call the either Center, be ready to provide:

  • Your name, address and telephone number
  • Information concerning the exposure (the amount of agent, the time since exposure, etc.). For various reasons, it is important to know exactly what poison the pet was exposed to. [If the agent is part of the Pet Product Safety Service, the consultation is at no cost to the caller.]
  • The species, breed, age, sex, weight and number of pets involved
  • The agent your pet(s) has been exposed to, if known
  • The problems your pet(s) is experiencing.

Your pet may become poisoned in spite of your best efforts to prevent it. Because of this, you should be prepared.

Your pet companions regularly should be seen by a local veterinarian to maintain overall health. You should know the veterinarian’s procedures for emergency situations, especially ones that occur after usual business hours. You should keep the telephone numbers for the veterinarian, the Poison Control Centers, and a local emergency veterinary service in a convenient location.

You may benefit by keeping a pet safety kit on hand for emergencies. Such a kit should contain:

  • A fresh bottle of hydrogen peroxide 3% (USP)
  • Can of soft dog or cat food, as appropriate
  • Turkey baster, bulb syringe or large medicine syringe
  • Saline eye solution to flush out eye contaminants
  • Artificial tear gel to lubricate eyes after flushing
  • Mild grease-cutting dishwashing liquid in order to bathe an pet after skin contamination
  • Rubber gloves to prevent you from being exposed while you bathe the pet
  • Forceps to remove stingers
  • Muzzle to keep the pet from hurting you while it is excited or in pain

Pet carrier to help carry the pet to your local veterinarian.