Poison Prevention Week

Posted by on Mar 20, 2017 in Blog, News

This week is National Poison Prevention week! We love our pets and we want to keep them safe. Most pet owners already know that chocolate is toxic to dogs, and not to let your pets near any kind of rat poison or household cleaner. But what about some of the lesser known dangers to cats and dogs? Read below for common plants and items that can be poisonous to your pet.


Poisonous to: Cats and dogs

The seeds, leaves, and stems of the apricot tree contain cyanide. This toxin inhibits cytochrome oxidase, an enzyme necessary for cellular oxygen transport, preventing appropriate oxygen uptake by cells.

Can cause: dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, inadequate oxygen levels, bright red gums, shock, death


Poisonous to: Cats and dogs

Buttercups are the tiny yellow flowers found in the spring and summer across the US. Most are weeds, but a few varieties are grown as ornamental plants. Buttercups contain the chemical ranunculin, which, when crushed or chewed, becomes a bitter-tasting oil toxin that is poisonous to cats and dogs. It irritates the mucus membranes of the gastrointestinal tract. The flower part contains the highest amount of toxin. Luckily, buttercup generally doesn’t pose a serious threat because the flower’s bitter taste and its ability to cause mouth blisters limit the amount an animal will eat.

Can cause: drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, blisters in the mouth, weakness, tremors, seizures, paralysis


Poisonous to: Cats and dogs

Cherry trees and shrubs contain cyanogenic glycosides. While the fruit is safe for pets to eat, all other parts of the plant (seeds, stems, leaves, etc.) are toxic and contain cyanide.

Can cause: dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, inadequate oxygen levels, bright red gums, shock, death


Poisonous to: Cats and dogs

These flowers contain lycorine, an alkaloid that triggers vomiting. Crystals are found in the outer layer of the bulbs, which cause severe tissue irritation and drooling. Ingestion of the bulb, plant or flower can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and even possible cardiac arrhythmias or respiratory depression. Daffodil ingestions can result in severe symptoms, so if you see your pet consume daffodils or witness any symptoms of exposure, contact your vet at Gotham Veterinary Center right away.

Can cause: drooling, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, abdominal pain, abnormal breathing, cardiac arrhythmia


Poisonous to: Cats and Dogs

This popular houseplant contains an irritating sap. When pets are exposed to it, it can cause both gastrointestinal and skin irritation.

Can cause: loss of appetite, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, skin inflammation, skin redness


Poisonous to: Cats and dogs

This common garden shrub has a beautiful, colorful flower. This shrub contains cyanogenic glycosides, which is toxic to pets. There are higher concentrations found in the leaves and flowers.

Can cause: lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea


Poisonous to: Cats and dogs

Over the counter pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen and acetaminophen are common in the American household. But did you know that they can be toxic for your pet? If you think your pet might be in pain, talk to your veterinarian at Gotham Veterinary Center. There are many dog-specific pain relievers, like Rimadyl and Metacam. However, there are no pain relievers designed for long term use in cats. Pain relievers are used sparingly in cats because it is poorly tolerated; it can result in severe kidney failure with overdose, poisoning, or repeated doses.
Pet owners should never give any medication to their dog or cat without consultation with their veterinarian.

Can cause: vomiting, bloody vomit, diarrhea, black tarry stool, weakness, pale gums (anemia), abdominal pain, lethargy, loss of appetite, halitosis (secondary to kidney failure), seizures, death


Poisonous to: Cats, occasionally dogs

Some varieties of lilies are extremely dangerous and potentially fatal to cats. Examples of some of these dangerous lilies include the tiger, day, Asiatic hybrid, Easter, Japanese Show, rubrum, stargazer, red, Western, and wood lilies . Even small ingestions such as 2-3 petals or leaves, the pollen, or water from the vase can result in severe, acute kidney failure. Other types of dangerous lilies include lily of the valley. This type does not cause kidney failure, but can cause life-threatening heart arrhythmias and death when ingested by dogs or cats. If your cat is seen consuming any part of a lily, bring your cat (and the plant) immediately to a veterinarian for medical care. The sooner you bring in your cat, the better and more efficiently the lily poisoning can be treated.

Can cause: loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, halitosis, dehydration, changes in urination or thirst, seizures, death


Poisonous to: Cats and dogs

While the tomato fruit itself is safe for pets to eat, the green parts of the plant contain a toxic family of chemicals. Ingestion can cause severe gastrointestinal distress (e.g., vomiting, diarrhea), lethargy, weakness, and even confusion.

Can cause: vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, weakness, confusion


Poisonous to: Cats and Dogs

Rhubarb contains soluble calcium oxalate, which is so toxic to cats and dogs that it can cause kidney failure, tremors and coma (although rarely death) if consumed in adequate amounts. Luckily, rhubarb stalks are safe for pets but the leaves are not. Luckily they are bitter tasting, so pets rarely eat them in toxic quantities.

Can cause: drooling, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, weakness, tremors, bloody urine, changes in thirst and urination


Poisonous to: Cats and Dogs

Kiss your pet under the mistletoe, just don’t let them eat any of it! Mistletoe contains multiple substances that are toxic to both dogs and cats, including toxalbumin and pharatoxin viscumin. Mistletoe is well known for causing severe intestinal upset, as well as a sudden and severe drop in blood pressure, breathing problems, and even hallucinations (unusual behavior). If a large enough amount of these plants are ingested, seizures and death may follow. The leaves and berries of holly and mistletoe plants, even the dried plants, should be kept well out of your pet’s reach.

Can cause: drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hypotension, drunk walking, collapsing, seizures, death