Most pets use their sense of smell and taste to investigate things that are new to them,” said Insert Vet. “When they come across interesting plants or other items, their first reaction is to smell it, which often leads to tasting it.”
Being aware of poisonous plants and substances can help avoid potential dangers that can result in emergency trips to the veterinarian.
Lily of the Valley
When ingested by pets, the Convallaria majalis plant, also known as Lily of the Valley, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, a drop in heart rate, severe cardiac arrhythmias, and possibly seizures. This plant contains cardiac glycosides, which are also used in many human heart medications. Any pet with a known exposure should be examined by a veterinarian and treated based on their symptoms. Treatment may include blood pressure monitoring, heart monitoring, and, in severe cases, an expensive antidote to bind the toxin.
There are two types of Crocus plants: one that blooms in the spring and the other in the autumn. The spring plants are more common and cause only gastrointestinal upset accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. However, the autumn Crocus, also known as Meadow Saffron or Colchicum Autumnale, are highly toxic and can cause severe vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, and multisystem organ failure with bone marrow suppression. Symptoms may be seen immediately but can also be delayed for days. If you witness your pet eating a crocus and you are not sure what variety it is, it’s best to seek veterinary care immediately for decontamination and treatment.
Fertilizers or soil additives
In addition to flowers and plants, there are other gardening-related dangers that pet owners should be aware of, such as fertilizers and pesticides. While fertilizers are typically fairly safe for pets, those that contain blood meal, bone meal, feather meal and iron may be especially tasty – and dangerous – to them Large ingestions of these products can form a concretion in the stomach, obstructing the gastrointestinal tract and causing severe pancreatitis. Also ingestion of pesticides and insecticides, especially if they contain any organophosphates, can be life-threatening, even when ingested in small amounts.
Parting advice: Keep your dog away from any mushrooms. “Always assume any ingested mushroom by a dog is toxic and will cause liver failure,” says. “The problem is that many poisonous mushrooms often grow together with non-poisonous mushrooms.”
Enjoy the outdoors with your dog, but always be aware. If you think a pet may have ingested something harmful, take action immediately and contact your veterinarian. Learn more at Pet Poison Helpline.