Summer Plant toxicities in Colorado
If you spend any time outside with your dog, it’s important to understand the plant poisoning risks that are out there. Has anyone seen the recent articles online regarding Water Hemlock poisonings? Well unfortunately these articles are true. Water Hemlock, along with many other plants in CO, is very poisonous to dogs and cats.
Water Hemlock is a plant that prefers wet meadows, riverbanks and water edges and can be found at altitudes of up to 8000 feet. The entire plant is poisonous but the most toxic portion of the plant is the root. The principal toxin in the plant is called Cicutoxin and ingestion of the toxin causes muscle tremors, violent convulsions and even death. Clinical signs can begin within an hour of ingestion and it’s important that you immediately visit your veterinarian if you feed your pet has ingested any portion of the plant.
Who has Aloe Vera plants in their home? I love the look of these plants and the benefits they can give to humans but please be sure to keep your dogs and cats away from them. These plants contain saponins which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia and tremors if ingested but both dogs and cats.
Strawberry-rhubarb pie anyone? It’s one of my favorites! If you grow rhubarb, be sure to keep your dog or cat away from the plant! The stalks are what we use to cook with but the leaves are toxic. They have the potential to cause kidney disease and kidney failure. Surprisingly enough, the green leaves associated with tomato plants contain solanine which is a substance that can cause gastrointestinal upset, weakness and a decreased heartvrate. Keep your pet away from your tomato plants to prevent accidental ingestion!
Mushroom ingestion can wreak havoc on your dog’s liver. A good rule of thumb when considering mushroom ingestion is that all mushrooms have the potential to cause liver failure in pets. Many non-toxic mushrooms grow together with toxic mushrooms so it’s best to keep your pet away from them overall.
The best way to ensure that your dog or cat won’t get sick from a plant is to not allow them around it in the first place. If you have houseplants, keep them away from your pets. When you are out hiking and spending time outside, do not allow your pet to lick or chew at any plants! If you feel that your pet has ingested a plant and are unsure what to do, just call your veterinarian! We are always happy to answer any questions in order to ensure everything will be ok. Enjoy the rest of the summer everyone! Fall will be here soon enough!