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Do Not Poison Your Pets.

Posted Jul 24 2009 11:43pm
Published: July 24, 2009

Q. What plants are toxic to pets?

A. Plants that could affect the heart include nerium oleander, rhododendron species, lily of the valley, oleander, azalea, rosebay and foxglove. Plants that could cause kidney failure include lilies (lilium and hemerocallis species, in cats only); rhubarb (rheum species -- leaves only); and shamrock (oxalis species).

Plants or fungi that could cause liver failure include the cycad species such as sago palm and mushroom (amanita phalloides).

Plants that could cause multiple effects include autumn crocus, which can lead to hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, renal failure, liver damage and bone-marrow suppression; and castor bean, the ricinus species, which can cause renal failure, liver failure, convulsions and death.

Q. What should pet owners do if they suspect their animal has ingested a poisonous plant or mushroom? What symptoms should they look for?

A. They should contact their veterinarian immediately. It's advised to bring part of the plant to a nursery for identification if the exact species is not known. Symptoms of poisonings can include almost any clinical sign.

Q. What about pesticides and fertilizers?

A. Most lawn pesticides are not considered dangerous to pets if the treatment is thoroughly dry.

The simplest solution is to make sure your pets do not go on lawns or in gardens treated with fertilizers, herbicides or insecticides until the time listed on the label.

If your pet does roll on a freshly treated lawn, don't wait for symptoms such as lethargy, depressed appetite or foaming from the mouth. Give the dog an immediate bath using gentle dishwashing liquid.

Always store pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides in areas that are inaccessible to your pets -- read the label carefully for proper usage and storage instructions.

The most dangerous forms of pesticides include snail bait containing metaldehyde, fly bait containing methomyl, systemic insecticides containing disyston or disulfoton, zinc phosphide containing mole or gopher bait and most rat poisons.

Use safe and far more effective pest control alternatives - please see:
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