Imagine it, your dog is happily playing in the yard and you notice one of your favorite plants is shredded. You don’t think much about it, except maybe a little annoyance, after all, you loved the plant but you love your dog more. Things happen.
Later that day, your dog is a little sluggish; is resting more than usual. You wake up to vomit. You let your dog out and sure enough, it now has diarrhea. You eye the remnants of the plant and begin to wonder if it could be the culprit.
You decide to call the vet and learn that the plant is toxic. How much did your dog eat? You have no idea. You take the dog to the vet and learn its liver enzymes are off the chart and now at risk of organ failure. You’re heartbroken and begin to panic, this is serious.
Twenty four hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, dogs are poisoned in the United States. Their curious, playful nature makes them vulnerable. Common causes of poisoning include:
- Human medications
- Human foods
- Dietary supplements
During the spring and summer months, dogs and humans spend more time outdoors and may be exposed to more poisonous plants. With plants blooming all around us, they may even be more attractive to animals.
The only way to fully protect your pet is through education, awareness, and prevention. Pet parents need to know what they have growing in their yard and be able to keeps their pets away from poisonous plants or remove them.
Some plants toxic for dogs and cats include:
- Slow or rapid heart rate
- Bloody stools
- Pale gums
- Unsteady on feet
- Seizures, convulsions
- Loss of appetite
- Inability to urinate
- Trouble breathing
- Call your vet
- Go to the nearest emergency vet
- Call the Animal Poison Control Center at 855-764-7661
- Make sure your pet is breathing normally and acting fine. If not, go to the nearest emergency vet. If so:
- Collect a sample of the plant.
- Do not give your dog any milk, food, salt, oil, or any other home remedies.
- Do not induce vomiting without first talking to your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline, it can be contraindicated and may be detrimental.
The prognosis is always better when toxicity is reported immediately, so don’t wait to see if your pet is going to get sick. There is only a small window of time when it’s possible to induce vomiting or pump the stomach in the case of a poisoning.
Please share these tips with your family and friends.