, author: Ermakova M.

Toxic plants for dogs and cats

Houseplants can cause astrointestinal, respiratory and neurological gastrointestinal problems, and in some cases can even be fatal.

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If you are a flower or plant lover and also have a dog or cat at home, you should know that some house plants can be dangerous for your pet. They can cause astrointestinal, respiratory and neurological gastrointestinal problems, and in some cases can even be fatal.

It is important to keep toxic plants out of the reach of our pets and make sure they do not have access to them at home, in the garden or while out on walks.

It's important to remember that if your pet has had contact with a toxic plant, even if he only survived a small amount, he needs to be taken to a veterinarian right away.

8 plants that are dangerous for your pet

1. Bay leaf.

Bay leaves can be toxic to dogs and cats due to the presence of eugenol and other essential oils. These compounds can cause digestive problems, including excessive salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and blockage. It is important to be careful not to flavor your dog or cat's food with bay leaves, and to keep this plant out of their reach.

Bay leaf.

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Additionally, bay leaf poisoning in cats can be especially dangerous. Symptoms of poisoning in cats may include tremors, ataxia, respiratory and liver failure, and decreased body temperature. Interestingly, bay leaves are also toxic to horses.

Symptoms of poisoning may appear even hours or even days after consumption. Therefore, it is important to be alert and seek veterinary help immediately if you suspect your pet has consumed this toxic plant.

2. Aloe Vera.

This is a succulent plant that can provide many benefits to dogs and cats. It has digestive, healing, anti-inflammatory and immunostimulating properties. However, it is important to note that if used incorrectly, aloe vera can also be toxic to them.

Aloe vera.

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The yellow latex that is found between the leaves and the gel of the plant contains aloin, a naturally occurring chemical that can cause allergies, irritate the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract, and has laxative properties. If a dog or cat ingests aloin, they may experience vomiting and/or diarrhea. Therefore, it is important to ensure that you only use aloe vera gel without aloin, latex or leaves to avoid these symptoms.

If you want to use aloe vera to treat your pet, it is important to consult with a professional to ensure you are using the correct part of the plant.

3. Lilies.

Lilies are a plant with all parts that are highly toxic to cats and dogs: the stem, leaves, flowers and pollen. It is important to take extra care with this flower if you have cats at home, even if they show no interest in the plant. Lily pollen can stick to cats' paws and fur when they walk near the plant. Thus, by licking themselves, they can become poisoned and develop fatal kidney failure in less than 3 days.


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Symptoms of poisoning in cats may include vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, polyuria and polydipsia, dehydration and kidney failure. Depending on the type of lily, it may be a medical emergency and it is important to act quickly to improve the animal's prognosis.

Dogs that have been exposed to lily may have mild stomach upset, but they do not develop kidney failure like cats. Again, it is important to keep lilies out of your pet's reach and it is best to keep this plant out of the house.

4. Mistletoe.

Mistletoe, a typical Christmas plant, contains lectins and phoratoxins, which are the main chemicals toxic to furries. These substances can affect the heart of dogs and cats, causing low blood pressure and a slow heart rate.

Mistletoe poisoning only occurs if an animal consumes large quantities of this plant. Symptoms of poisoning in dogs and cats may include gastrointestinal distress, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing and strange behavior. They may also feel weak due to low blood pressure or a slow heart rate.


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It is important to note that treatment for mistletoe poisoning will depend on the amount of the plant your pet ingested and the severity of the symptoms. In mild cases, only observation may be recommended to ensure the condition does not worsen.

In more severe cases, medication may be required to control symptoms and stabilize the animal. In extreme cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the mistletoe from the animal's body. It is important to provide all the necessary information, such as the amount of mistletoe the animal is expected to have consumed, so that the treatment is more effective.

5. Poinsettia.

Very often during the Christmas holidays, poinsettias appear in homes. Pet owners should avoid purchasing it as poinsettia is toxic to both dogs and cats. If suddenly you already have it, then you should store it out of reach of the animal.


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Poinsettias contain a milky juice that, if swallowed, can be very irritating to the mouth and stomach of dogs and cats. If an animal consumes only a small amount of this plant, symptoms of poisoning may include excessive salivation, vomiting and diarrhea. If the animal has consumed it in large quantities, symptoms may be more severe. Additionally, poinsettia sap may cause skin and eye irritation if it comes into contact with these sensitive areas.

As with mistletoe, treatment for poisoning will depend on the amount your dog or cat ingested.

6. Philodendron.

All parts of philodendron plants are toxic to dogs and cats because they contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals. These crystals are released when animals chew the plant, causing severe pain in the mouth and throat.


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Symptoms of poisoning may include increased salivation, skin and mouth irritation, sore throat, difficulty breathing, pain, burning and stomach upset. Treatment for philodendron poisoning will depend on the amount of the plant the animal ingested and the severity of symptoms. It is important to follow your veterinarian's instructions and provide all necessary information so that treatment is most appropriate.

7. Dieffenbachia.

It is a plant that belongs to the arachnid family, which means it is related to the Philodendron plants. Like Philodendron plants, all parts of Dieffenbachia are toxic to dogs and cats.


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Dieffenbachia juice contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, which can irritate the mucous membranes, causing hypersalivation, tongue hypertrophy, ulcers, vomiting and difficulty eating. Ingesting Dieffenbachia can also cause kidney and breathing problems. If Dieffenbachia sap gets into your dog or cat's eyes, it can cause inflammation of the cornea and possible temporary blindness.

If you think your furbaby has ingested Dieffenbachia, seek veterinary medical attention. Again, treatment for Dieffenbachia poisoning will depend on the amount of the plant the animal has eaten and the severity of the symptoms.

8. Azalea.

Azalea or rhododendron is a very toxic plant for dogs and cats. Its flowers and leaves contain toxic substances that can cause irritation of the mouth and digestive tract, vomiting, diarrhea, bradycardia (slow heartbeat), tachycardia (rapid heartbeat), and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, even hypotension can occur, that is, low blood pressure, seizures, coma and death of the animal.


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When keeping this plant at home, it is important to be careful and ensure that pets do not have access to it. If you think your furbaby has ingested part of an azalea, you should contact your veterinarian immediately to receive the appropriate treatment. In addition, when handling azaleas, it is important to be careful and avoid contact with skin and eyes, as the sap can irritate the mucous membranes and cause inflammation. In case of contact with juice, it is recommended to wash your hands thoroughly, and in case of contact with eyes, rinse them immediately with water.