Six flowers that can be fatal to your pets

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With love in the air, many of us are heading to the florist to buy our Valentine a colourful bouquet of flowers.

Unfortunately, we often return home with flowers that may be toxic for our pets. Although many flowers and plants are mild-to-moderate in terms of toxicity and can cause “mild” symptoms like a gastrointestinal upset, when pets consume highly toxic plants it can be fatal – even if they only have a very small amount.

The following list contains six common flowers toxic to your cats and dogs:

Lilies – Lilies (such as peace lily, calla lily, Easter lily and Tiger lily) are highly toxic and potentially fatal to cats. Some types are also toxic to dogs. Avoid having any plant from the lily family in or around the home. And be mindful of gifted flowers as these may cause vomiting, diarrhoea, lack of appetite, stomach pain, depression, difficulty swallowing, kidney damage, kidney failure, multiple organ failure.

Daffodils – Daffodil ingestion can result in trouble swallowing, serious heart irregularities, and respiratory distress, so if you think your dog has eaten any part of the daffodil or bulbs, see veterinary treatment immediately. Skin exposure also causes symptoms, such as burning, rash, itching, and inflammation.

Carnations – When ingested, the carnation can cause gastrointestinal upset and exposure to skin may lead to dermatitis in your dog. While the exact toxin is unknown, it can cause toxicity symptoms such as skin irritation and diarrhoea in your dog if exposed to or ingested.

Chrysanthemums – These come in many different sizes, colours, and styles, but they are all toxic. The entire plant is poisonous and contains sesquiterpene lactones, pyrethrins, and several other toxic substances. All parts of the chrysanthemum plant are potentially harmful if ingested, especially the flower heads. Symptoms of toxicity include nausea, vomiting, rashes, increased salivation, diarrhea and lack of coordination.

Tulips – All parts of a tulip plant are toxic to dogs, from root to leaf, stalk, and flower. The bulbs are especially poisonous because it has a higher concentration of the plant’s naturally occurring chemicals, including the toxic Tulipalin. Pets may experience drooling, vomiting and diarrhoea, heart problems and difficulty breathing as a result of tulip poisoning.

Ivy – Any popular ivy plants, including English ivy and Devil’s ivy/Golden Pothos, have moderate toxicity to pets. Mouth and stomach irritation, excessive drooling, foaming at the mouth, swelling of the mouth, tongue and lips, vomiting, diarrhoea will occur if ingested.

If your pet chews, licks or ingests any of these toxic flowers or plants, call Orchard Hills Veterinary Hospital on 4736 2027 and seek veterinary attention.

Kellie Tickner, Orchard Hills Veterinary Hospital

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