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Very popular in our climate, this household and outdoor plant can be very harmful to pets. If ingested, the leaves and seeds can cause vomiting, bloody stools, damage to the stomach lining, severe liver failure, and, in some cases, death.

Toxic to: dogs, cats, horses

Clinical Signs: Vomiting, melena, icterus, increased thirst, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, bruising, coagulopathy, liver damage, liver failure, death.

Azaleas can have serious effects on pets. Eating even a few leaves can result in vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive drooling; without immediate veterinary attention, the pet could fall into a coma and possibly die.

Toxic to: dogs, cats, horses

Clinical Signs: Vomiting (not in horses), diarrhea, weakness, cardiac failure.

There are both dangerous and benign lilies out there, and it’s important to know the difference. Peace, Peruvian, and Calla lilies contain oxalate crystals that cause minor signs, such as tissue irritation to the mouth, tongue, pharynx, and esophagus – this results in minor drooling. Those more dangerous and potentially fatal are true lilies, including Tiger, Day, Asiatic, Easter, and Japanese Show lilies – all of which are highly toxic to cats. Even small ingestions (such as 2-3 petals or leaves) can result in severe kidney failure. If your cat is seen consuming any part of a lily, bring your cat (and the plant) immediately to a veterinarian for medical care. The sooner you bring in your cat, the better and more efficiently we can treat the poisoning. Decontamination (like inducing vomiting and giving binders like activated charcoal) are imperative in the early toxic stage, while aggressive intravenous fluid therapy, kidney function monitoring tests, and supportive care can greatly improve the prognosis.

Toxic to: Cats

Non-Toxic to: dogs, horses

Clinical Signs — Cats: kidney failure.

Very popular in our climate, this outdoor shrub is popular for its evergreen qualities and delicate flowers. However, the leaves and flowers are extremely toxic if ingested and can cause severe vomiting, slow the heart rate, and possibly even death.

Toxic to: dogs, cats, horses

Clinical Signs: Drooling, abdominal pain, diarrhea, colic, depression, death

A popular indoor plant, dieffenbachia can cause intense oral irritation, drooling, nausea, vomiting and difficulty swallowing if ingested.

Toxic to: dogs, cats

Clinical Signs: Oral irritation, intense burning and irritation of mouth, tongue, and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty swallowing.

These flowers contain lycorine, an alkaloid with strong emetic properties (something that triggers vomiting). Ingestion of the bulb, plant, or flower can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and even possible cardiac arrhythmias, or respiratory depression. Crystals are found in the outer layer of the bulbs, similar to hyacinths, which cause severe tissue irritation and secondary drooling. Daffodil ingestions can result in more severe symptoms.

Toxic to: dogs, cats, horses

Clinical Signs: Vomiting, salvation, diarrhea — large ingestions cause convulsions, low blood pressure, tremors, and cardiac arrhythmias. Bulbs are the most poisonous part.

Tulips contain allergenic lactones while hyacinths contain similar alkaloids. The toxic principle of these plants is very 

concentrated in the bulbs versus the leaf or flower, so make sure your pet isn’t digging up the bulbs in the garden. When the plant parts or bulbs are chewed or ingested, it can result in tissue irritation to the mouth and esophagus. Typical signs include profuse drooling, vomiting, or even diarrhea, depending on the amount consumed. There’s no specific antidote, but with supportive care from the veterinarian, including rinsing the mouth, anti-vomiting medication, and possibly subcutaneous fluids, animals do quite well. With large ingestions of the bulb, more severe symptoms such as an increase in heart rate and changes in respiration can be seen. These more severe signs are seen in cattle or overzealous Labradors.

Toxic to: dogs, cats, horses and cattle

Clinical Signs: Vomiting, depression, diarrhea, hyper-salivation— highest concentration of toxin in bulb.

Toxic to: dogs, cats, horses

Clinical Signs: Intense vomiting, diarrhea, occasionally with blood, depression, and tremors.

This plant contains cardiac glycosides which will cause symptoms similar to digitalis (foxglove) ingestion. Pets with any known exposure to this plant should be examined and evaluated by a veterinarian and treated symptomatically.

Toxic to: dogs, cats, horses

Clinical Signs: Vomiting, irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, disorientation, coma, seizures.

This popular flowering succulent plant can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and heart arrhythmias if ingested by pets.

Toxic to: dogs, cats

Clinical Signs: Vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythm (rare).

The roots of this seasonal flowering plant are especially dangerous to pets. If ingested, cyclamen can cause severe vomiting and even death.

Toxic to: dogs, cats, horses

Clinical Signs: Salivation, vomiting, diarrhea. Following large ingestions of tubers, heart rhythm abnormalities, seizures, death.

There are two Crocus plants, one that blooms in the spring and the other that blooms in the autumn. The spring plants are more common and are part of the Iridaceae family. These ingestions can cause general gastrointestinal upset, including vomiting and diarrhea. These should not be mistaken for Autumn Crocus, part of the Liliaceae family, which contain colchicine. The Autumn Crocus is highly toxic and can cause severe vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, liver and kidney damage, and respiratory failure. If you’re not sure what plant it is, bring your pet and the plant to the veterinarian immediately. Signs may be seen immediately, but can be delayed for days.

Toxic to: dogs, cats, horses

Clinical Signs: Bloody vomiting, diarrhea, shock, multi-organ damage, bone marrow suppression.

HERBICIDES can also poison your pets. Alternate names: 2,4-D, glyphosate, Round-up, dicamba, and paraquat.
Some misconceptions about poison:

Time: All poisons are instant. False! The majority of toxins need time to act. There are many toxins that will take hours or days before any symptoms are seen.

Concentration: All poison is 100% concentrated, it only takes a drop. False! The dose determines the toxicity.

Antidote: Every poison has one. False! While this may be surprising, most toxins DO NOT have an antidote. However, that does not mean that treatment and management of symptoms is not available.

One thing is true: For the best outcome, seek professional assistance immediately! The sooner a poisoning is diagnosed, the easier, less expensive, and safer it is to treat your pet.

24/7 Animal Poison Control Center, (855) 764-7661, $59 per incident fee applies.

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Centre, (888) 426-4435, $65 consultation fee may apply

Or contact your local veterinarian as soon as possible. We do understand that you know your pet best, so please use your best judgement in their care.


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