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Houston Humane Society Plants Poisonous to Pets
Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Plants Poisonous to Pets

Spring has sprung here in Houston!  Many of you have grand plans for re-landscaping, especially after Harvey left most of our gardens and yards with much to be desired.  But before you start planting, do a little research to find out what kind of dangers might be lurking in your yard.  Many beautiful plants, flowers, shrubs, and trees pose a harmful, and even fatal, threat to our pets.
   
Most of us know to avoid sago palms and lilies, but did you also know aloe vera, azaleas, and English ivy pose a threat to animals?  How about daffodils and tulips?  And elephant ears, wisteria, and tomato plants?  In fact, there are reports of over 700 plants that have been identified as toxic or harmful to pets.  It is highly recommended you learn what not to plant in your own yard and to familiarize yourself with many of the toxic plants you might encounter at parks, along your walk route, even your neighbor’s yard!  If your dog or cat doesn’t seem interested in chewing on plants or foliage, still do your homework.  Various plants have different levels of toxicity.  Be sure you make an informed decision before planting something dangerous.  Know what dangers to avoid when you are out and about with your pet, and keep them safe. 
 
While this is not a complete list, we’ve included many popular plants, flowers, and shrubs to help you:
 
Aloe
Scientific Name: Aloe vera
Family: Liliaceae
Toxicity:  Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Horses
Toxic Principles: Saponins, anthraquinones
Clinical Signs: Vomiting (not horses), depression, diarrhea, anorexia.  The gel is considered edible.
 
Amaryllis
Additional Common Names: Many, including: Belladonna lily, Saint Joseph lily, Cape Belladonna, Naked Lady
Scientific Name: Amaryllis sp.
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Toxicity:  Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Horses
Toxic Principles: Lycorine and others
Clinical Signs: vomiting (not horses), depression, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, anorexia, tremors.
 
Azalea
Additional Common Names: Rosebay, Rhododendron
Scientific Name: Rhododendron spp
Family: Ericaceae
Where Found: About 250 different species; geographic distribution varies with species.
Toxicity: Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Horses
Toxic Principles: Grayantoxin
Clinical Signs: Vomiting (not in horses), diarrhea, weakness, cardiac failure.
 
Begonia
Additional Common Names: Over 1,000 species and 10,000 hybrids
Scientific Name: Begonia spp.
Family: Begoniaceae
Toxicity:  Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Horses
Toxic Principles: Insoluble oxalates
Clinical Signs: Kidney failure (in grazing animals), vomiting, salivation in dogs/cats. Most toxic part is underground.
 
Branching Ivy
Additional Common Names: English Ivy, Glacier Ivy, Needlepoint Ivy, Sweetheart Ivy, California Ivy
Scientific Name: Hedera helix
Family: Araliaceae
Toxicity: Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Horses
Toxic Principles: Triterpenoid saponins (hederagenin)
Clinical Signs: Vomiting, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, diarrhea. Foliage is more toxic than berries
 
Buttercup
Additional Common Names: Butter Cress, Figwort
Scientific Name: Ranunculus sp.
Family: Ranunculaceae
Toxicity: Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Horses
Toxic Principles: Protoanemonin (an irritant)
Clinical Signs: Vomiting, diarrhea, depression, anorexia, hypersalivation, oral ulcers, and wobbly gait.
 
Caladium
Additional Common Names: Malanga, Elephant's Ears, Stoplight, Seagull, Mother-in-law Plant, Pink Cloud, Texas Wonder, Angel-Wings, Exposition, Candidum, Fancy-leaved Caladium
Scientific Name: Caladium hortulanum
Family:  Araceae
Toxicity:  Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Horses
Toxic Principles:  Insoluble calcium oxalates
Clinical Signs: Oral irritation, intense burning and irritation of mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting (not in horses), difficulty swallowing.
 
Calla Lily
Additional Common Names: Calla Lily, Pig Lily, White Arum, Trumpet Lily, Florist's Calla, Garden Calla, Arum Lily
Scientific Name: Zantedeschia aethiopica
Family: Araceae
Toxicity: Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Cats
Toxic Principles: Insoluble calcium oxalates
Clinical Signs: Oral irritation, intense burning and irritation of mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty swallowing
 
Chrysanthemum
Additional Common Names: Daisy, Mum; many varieties
Scientific Name: Chrysanthemum spp.
Family: Compositae
Toxicity: Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Horses
Toxic Principles: Sesquiterpene, lactones, pyrethrins and other potential irritants
Clinical Signs: Vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation, incoordination, dermatitis
 
Daffodil
Additional Common Names: Narcissus, Jonquil, Paper White
Scientific Name: Narcissus spp
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Toxicity:  Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Horses
Toxic Principles: Lycorine and other alkaloids
Clinical Signs: Vomiting, salvation, diarrhea; large ingestions cause convulsions, low blood pressure, tremors and cardiac arrhythmias. Bulbs are the most poisonous part.
 
Dahlia
Additional Common Names: Many varieties
Scientific Name: Dahlia species
Family: Compositae
Toxicity: Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Horses
Toxic Principles: Unknown
Clinical Signs: Mild gastrointestinal signs, mild dermatitis
 
Daisy
Additional Common Names: Chrysanthemum, Mum
Scientific Name: Chrysanthemum species
Family: Compositae
Toxicity: Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Cats
Toxic Principles: Sesquiterpene, lactones, pyrethrins and other potential irritants
Clinical Signs: Vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation, incoordination, dermatitis
 
Elephant Ears
Additional Common Names: Caladium, Malanga
Scientific Name: Colocasia esculenta
Family: Araceae
Toxicity:  Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Horses
Toxic Principles: Insoluble calcium oxalates
Clinical Signs: Oral irritation, pain and swelling of mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting (not horses), difficulty swallowing
 
Gardenia
Additional Common Names: Cape Jasmine
Scientific Name: Gardenia jasminoides
Family: Rubiaceae
Toxicity: Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Horses
Toxic Principles: Genioposide, gardenoside
Clinical Signs: Mild vomiting and/or diarrhea, hives.
 
Geranium
Additional Common Names: Many cultivars
Scientific Name: Pelargonium species
Family: Geraniaceae
Toxicity:  Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Horses
Toxic Principles: Geraniol, linalool
Clinical Signs: Vomiting, anorexia, depression, dermatitis
 
Gladiola
Additional Common Names: Many cultivars
Scientific Name: Gladiolus species
Family: Iridaceae
Toxicity: Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Horses
Toxic Principles: Unknown
Clinical Signs: Salivation, vomiting, drooling, lethargy, diarrhea. Highest concentration in corms (bulbs).
 
Hyacinth
Scientific Name: Hyacinthus orientalis
Family: Liliaceae
Toxicity: Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Horses
Toxic Principles: Possibly narcissus-like alkaloids
Clinical Signs: Intense vomiting, diarrhea, occassionally with blood, depression and tremors.
 
Hydrangea
Additional Common Names: Hortensia, Hills of Snow, Seven Bark
Scientific Name: Hydrangea arborescens
Family: Hydrangeaceae
Toxicity: Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Horses
Toxic Principles: Cyanogenic glycoside
Clinical Signs: Vomiting, depression, diarrhea. Cyanide intoxication is rare – usually produces more of a gastrointestinal disturbance.
 
Iris
Additional Common Names: Flag, Snake Lily, Water Flag
Scientific Name: Iris species
Family: Iridaceae
Toxicity: Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Horses
Toxic Principles: Pentacylic terpenoids (zeorin, missourin and missouriensin)
Clinical Signs: Salivation, vomiting, drooling,lethargy, diarrhea. Highest concentration in rhizomes.
 
Lily
Scientific Name: Lilium species
Family: Liliaceae
Toxicity: Toxic to Cats Non-Toxic to Dogs, Non-Toxic to Horses
Non-Toxicity:
Toxic Principles: Unknown
Clinical Signs: Cats: kidney failure.
 
Lily of the Valley
Scientific Name: Convallaria majalis
Family: Liliaceae
Toxicity: Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Horses
Toxic Principles: Cardenolides (convallarin, and others)
Clinical Signs: Vomiting, irregular heart beat, low blood pressure, disorientation, coma, seizures
 
Morning Glory
Scientific Name: Ipomoea spp
Family: Convolvulaceae
Toxicity:  Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Horses
Toxic Principles: Indole alkaloids
Clinical Signs: Vomiting, large amounts of seeds may cause hallucinations
 
Oleander
Additional Common Names: Rose-Bay
Scientific Name: Nerium oleander
Family: Apocynaceae
Toxicity: Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Horses
Toxic Principles: Cardiac glycosides
Clinical Signs: Drooling, abdominal pain, diarrhea, colic, depression, death
 
Sago Palm
Additional Common Names: Coontie Palm, Cardboard Palm, cycads and zamias
Scientific Name: Cycas revoluta, zamia species
Family: Cycadaceae
Toxicity: Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Horses
Toxic Principles: Cycasin
Clinical Signs: Vomiting, melena, icterus, increased thirst, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, bruising, coagulopathy, liver damage, liver failure, death.
 
Tomato Plant
Scientific Name: Lycopersicon spp
Family: Solanaceae
Toxicity:  Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Horses
Toxic Principles: Solanine
Clinical Signs: Hypersalivation, inappetence, severe gastrointestinal upset, depression, weakness, dilated pupils, slow heart rate; ripe fruit is non-toxic
 
Tulip
Scientific Name: Tulipa species
Family: Liliaceae
Toxicity: Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Horses
Toxic Principles: Tulipalin A and B
Clinical Signs: Vomiting, depression, diarrhea, hypersalivation. Highest concentration of toxin in bulb.
 
Wisteria
Scientific Name: wisteria species
Family: Fabaceae
Toxicity: Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Horses
Toxic Principles: Lectin, wisterin glycoside
Clinical Signs: Vomiting (sometimes with blood), diarrhea, depression
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