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Steven_L
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PostSubject: Ornamental Plants, Toxic   Fri Oct 16, 2009 3:09 pm

Bright ornamental plants are a great way to dress up the house during the holidays and a dreary winter. Pet owners should be aware, however, that many of these common plants are poisonous to pets.

Toxicity ranges from mild to severe, and the amount of plant consumed determines how sick a pet may become. In general, gastrointestinal upset is the most common finding, but if enough plant material is ingested, seizures, coma or death is possible. Read this Quick Tip to familiarize yourself with holiday poisonous plants.

Naturally curious puppies and kittens and pets may want to sample some of the new-in-the-house greens. Dose is size-dependent, so puppies and kittens are most often at greatest risk for plant poisonings.

Many people associate the Poinsettia plant with extreme toxicity, but this is not entirely true. In fact, it is almost an urban legend, dating back to 1919, according to Snopes. The sap of Poinsettias is considered to be mildly toxic/irritating, and will probably cause nausea or vomiting, but not death. It is better to err on the side of caution, though, and keep pets away from this plant.

A couple of holiday plants, specifically Mistletoe and Holly, are considered to be moderately to severely toxic, and you should call your veterinarian or poison control center immediately for specific advice.

Additionally, plant bulb kits featuring Amaryllis, Narcissus (daffodil) or other lily plants are popular gift items at this time of year. Pet owners should be aware that these plants are toxic to pets, sometimes with severe symptoms of gastrointestinal signs, cardiac arrhythmias, and tremors and convulsions.

Don't forget about the Christmas tree. Christmas trees are considered to be mildly toxic. The fir tree oils can irritating to the mouth and stomach, causing excessive drooling or vomiting. The tree needles are not easily digested either; possibly causing GI irritation, vomiting, gastrointestinal obstruction or puncture. As noted earlier, the amount of trouble depends on how much is consumed. Many times, pets don't consume mass quantities of tree material.

Learn more about: Christmas tree safety

Signs most commonly seen with toxic plant ingestion relate to the gastrointestinal tract: vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and sometimes excessive salivation (drooling). In some cases, such as holly berry ingestion, tremors or seizures may be seen, followed by coma and death.

Monitor your pet's interest in the plants. To be safe, place plants out of reach and check the plants for any signs of chewing or missing leaves. If unsure, plastic plants are an option (with care taken not to let those get ingested, either!).

By Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM, About.com

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PostSubject: Re: Ornamental Plants, Toxic   Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:39 pm

luckily mine doesn't like to eat plants..however my cat when i was younger did all the time. pine needles frmo our tree to this one plant that only bloomed once a year... and it would eat the small flowers on it the day it bloomed. then he would puke it up. it was really unfortunate for the plant and the cat, lol.
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PostSubject: Re: Ornamental Plants, Toxic   Tue Nov 24, 2009 4:42 pm

Thats strange, most dogs or cats (especially cats) don't usually tend to munch on plants randomly or without reason. Although I've heard of cases in which they did, we just have to be careful.

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