Pet dangers in the garden

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I literally stumbled onto this information while at the vet. As a gardener with a dog, I was amazed at what I didn’t know about many of these common garden plants.

Always research new plants that you plant around your yard. And do remember that some of those pretty, trendy plants that you see introduced each year may be lethal to the most vulnerable members of your family.

Day Lily — Eastern, tiger, rubrum, oriental, Asiatic lily — Small amounts of leaves or petals when ingested are dangerous to cats. The renal system of cats is affected with malaise, anorexia, vomiting, dehydration and pain. Prognosis is fair to good with early treatment.

Sago Palms, Florida arrowroot, Cardboard palm, Zamia palm — The seeds (nuts) are most toxic to dogs primarily, but also affects cats and horses. Fifty percent of dogs ingesting this die or are euthanized. Signs are vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration and pain.

Lily of the valley, Foxglove, Oleander — all animals, including humans, are affected by these plants. A small amount of leaves or petals, seeds or even vase water is poisonous. Vomiting, seizures, tremors and hypotension are signs of ingestion and occur within 30 to 120 minutes.

Yew — Japanese, English and Chinese yew — all animals are affected after ingestion of bark, leaves or seeds. Onset of signs is immediate and sudden death.

Rhubarb leaves, Shamrock plant, Starfruit, Wood sorrel — all animals are affected by the ingestion of a large amount of these plant leaves within 24-36 hours. Signs are vomiting with/without blood, diarrhea with/without blood and tremors. Prognosis is good when treated early.

Peace lily, Fiddle leaf, Sweetheart vine, Umbrella plant — all animals, especially indoor cats and dogs are affected by ingestion of leaves and stems. Signs are hypersalvation, vomiting and swelling may occur. Prognosis is good.

Mountain laurel, Japanese pieris, Rhododendron, Azalea, Rosebay — all animals are affected by very small amounts of leaves, petals and even nectar of these plants. Signs of ingestion are vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures and transient blindness may occur. Prognosis is good with early therapy.

Spring bulbs — Crocus, Amaryllis, Resurrection lily, Hyacinth, Narcissus, Daffodil, Jonquil and Tulip bulbs are poisonous. Toxins are concentrated in these bulbs. Ingestion of the leaves and flowers is usually less toxic, but all animals are affected. Signs are vomiting and diarrhea; prognosis is good with early care.

Marijuana — all animals are affected. Ingestion is low toxicity, but large ingestions may cause death. The dried form is more toxic. Signs are vomiting, weakness, depression or agitation, tremors and seizures. Prognosis is good with early care.

Old fashioned garden plants such as Yesterday, Kiss me quick, Today and tomorrow, Noon and night — all animals, especially dogs, are affected by small amounts of ingested leaves and petals of these plants. Signs are similar to strychnine and include vomiting and agitation, muscle tremors and seizures. Toxic amounts are unknown, and treatment is good if done early.

Fertilizers as well as herbicides and insecticides will affect animals and humans. Toxic items, like ant bait, can affect the human central nervous system. Signs are vomiting, tremors and seizures. Prognosis is good with early care and small ingestion. If you have questions, call the Pet Poison Hotline at 855-289-0358 or see

Susan Woody has been a home and garden writer for more than 20 years and is a master gardener.

By |Jul. 20, 2017|

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