Spring Cleaning time
Even though the weather is still cool and wet, Spring is quickly approaching. As the days grow longer and warmer we all begin to spend more time outside, and the same goes for our pets. Many of the items we keep in the yard or around our home pose serious threats to the health and well beings of our four-legged family members.
In our sheds and garages, items kept to control pest problems such as snail and slug baits, rodenticides, pesticides, and herbicides, all pose health risks to our pets. Even products marked as “pet-safe” can still be harmful to our furry friends.
Snail and slug baits contain neurotoxins that cause muscle tremors and seizures in our animals. Rodenticides either contain neurotoxins that attack the nervous system causing muscle tremors and seizure activity, or they may contain anticoagulants that cause serious internal bleeding, sometimes days or weeks after ingestion. If your pet has eaten any of these items, they should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Sometimes, the dangers around our gardens and homes don’t come with warning labels. Organic materials that are left out such as walnuts and walnut shells, mushrooms, and backyard compost, all likely contain mold. Molds produce mycotoxins, a type of neurotoxin which will cause muscle tremors and seizures when ingested. If you suspect that your pet may have gotten into the compost in your yard or have a habit of eating objects around the yard, they should be seen by your veterinarian for decontamination and control of neurological symptoms.
While we all keep the best eye possible on our four-legged loved ones, there are times that they may be unattended around your yard. As infuriating as it may be to find your pet chewing away at your Begonias, common plants like these are dangerous. Some of the plants commonly planted around our homes and yards that are dangerous to our animals are:
Aloe – causing vomiting, depression, tremors, and changes in urine
Azalea – even a few leaves can cause digestive distress, paralysis, loss of appetite, and drooling
Begonia – 1,000 species of Begonias are toxic, causing burning mouth and vomiting
Bird of Paradise – causing labored breathing, eye discharge, and digestive discomfort
Chrysanthemum – symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of coordination
Cyclamen – causes intense vomiting and abdominal discomfort
Ivy – once ingested cause vomiting, abdominal pain, drooling, and diarrhea
Lillies – if eaten by cats, Lillies cause kidney failure
Oleander – fatal if ingested
Sago Palm – unfortunately, these toxic plants taste good to our pets. While all parts of the plant are toxic, the seed is the most potent.
Yew – even a small amount ingested is extremely toxic and quickly fatal
You can find a full list of toxic plants at
If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned, or suspect your pet may have gotten into a possibly toxic plant or product around your home, please call 1-888-426-4435 to reach the ASPCA Poison Control.