PLANTS AND PETS
Just like our children, our pets are surrounded by dangers and threats to their lives. We use insecticides, pesticides, fertilizers, rat poison and medication and the dangers are evident. But.......we forget THE PLANTS.
Why do our pets eat plants?
It’s important that we teach our pets not to eat the plants that are around them. There are a number of factors that make them want to eat plants:
*The high summer temperatures and the possibility of being without water
*Change of surroundings
*Lack of space
Which plants are dangerous?
There are a huge number of plants that can be toxic to pets and to identify them all is difficult and complicated.
We have listed those plants that you encounter regularly and are easily recognizable:
Adam’s rib, azalea, calabash, campanula (bell flower), castor oil plant, cyclamen, holly, hyacinth, hydrangea, iris, ivy, marihuana, mistletoe, narcissus, oleander, peace lily, poinsettia, rhododendron, sorrel, tulip, yew.
What part of the plant is toxic?
The poison can be in the leaves, stem, flowers and fruit. It can be present all year round or only at certain times and seasons. Animals can, accidently, ingest part or all of the plant and are fine but sometimes will require urgent treatment.
How can they be prevented from eating plants?
It’s important to train pets, from an early age, not to eat plants because we simply can’t avoid the plants in the garden and the countryside. Be aware that a high percentage of both indoor and outdoor ornamental plants are poisonous if ingested.
Puppies have a tendency to pick sharp objects in their mouths which are the cause of many problems. As well as teaching pets not to bite or chew plants smear the ones they are attracted to with something sour tasting.
Generally, kittens are more selective about the “toys” they choose to play with and suffer from poisoning far less frequently.
What should you do if your pet appears to be poisoned?
The symptoms of poisoning are not always evident; it can manifest itself in the digestive and nerve systems and in the blood.
It’s important to make a note of all the plants you have in and around the house and then in case of poisoning it will be possible for the vet to administer the correct antidote.
But, of course, it is never that easy:
The correct identification.
*It’s an arduous task to identify all the plants and many people don’t know them or mix them up. But in the event of poisoning you must be able to describe the plant precisely to the vet.
*The amount ingested. Seldom you know exactly how much the pet has eaten or absorbed which makes it very difficult to establish the severity of the situation and, in many cases, it’s impossible to give the correct diagnosis.
But with continued advancements in animal medicine and clinical procedures
it becomes easier to control and routine treatment.
For a successful outcome the animal must be taken to an Emergency Veterinary Hospital as soon as possible.
Is it beneficial for animals to purge by eating plants?
NO! This is a complete myth. Certainly they eat plants to induce vomiting but it is harmful to their stomach.
Why do they feel the need to vomit?
By nature, dogs are like animals that feed on carrion and, given the chance, they’ll eat disgusting, rotting food (we all know dogs that are like vacuum cleaners and will try to eat anything and everything they come across). Many dogs will gorge on large quantities of food, often, without chewing it and then when they suffer discomfort their instinct is to empty their stomachs.
Cats, habitually, lick their coats to clean it and spruce it up but they swallow a lot of fur. If they can’t pass it in their faeces it forms balls in the stomach which is an annoyance and they will vomit to try to get rid of them.
Should you be alarmed?
If this is only occasionally and the animal vomits up a large amount of food or a foreign object then there is no need to be alarmed......simply keep an eye on the situation. However, if your pet starts to vomit again then a visit to the vet is needed as soon as possible.
If you use insecticides or herbicides these are absorbed by the plant or remain on the leaves, flowers and fruit. So even “safe” plants become a danger.
Always keep the packaging/bottles from these produces so the vet knows exactly which chemicals have been ingested.
If in doubt or need information then don’t hesitate to call us on 952 411 196. For emergencies call 666 156 641, 24 hours a day.
Animal Salud Veterinary Hospital