Newsletter

Poisonous Plants

Cat_Plays_With_A_Pink_200We all enjoy flowers, whether in a vase in our house or in our gardens. We enjoy the multitude of bright colors and the fragrant odor they give us. But there can be a dangerous aspect to some of our favorite plants. The list of poisonous plants is very long, but this will give you information about some of the more common flowers and ornamental plants.

Lilies are common as cut flowers and in landscaping. They are toxic to cats, but fortunately not to dogs or horses. All parts of the plant can cause kidney problems. A cat that walks through a garden of lilies, then ingests the pollen as it grooms its fur, can develop severe kidney problems.

Azaleas are toxic to dogs, cats, and horses. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, mental dullness, cardiovascular depression, collapse, and death. Even eating a few leaves can cause serious problems.

Bird of Paradise is among one of the most beautiful flowers, but it can be toxic to cats, dogs, and horses. The fruits and seeds can cause vomiting and drowsiness.

Begonias, especially the tubers, are toxic to dogs and cats. They can cause oral irritation. This can progress to swelling of the mouth, lips, and tongue, causing drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

All parts of the castor bean plant are toxic, but the seeds contain the highest concentration of ricin, one of the most poisonous compounds known. This affects horses, cats, and dogs. Symptoms are mouth irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, kidney failure, seizures, and death. Signs usually start 12 to 48 hours after ingestion.

Chrysanthemums are toxic to horses, dogs, and cats. They can cause vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, weakness, inability to walk properly, and even skin problems.

Hibiscus can cause a loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea in cats, dogs, or horses that ingest it.

Oleander is very toxic to dogs, cats, and horses. It has toxins that can cause a low heart rate, heart failure, and death. It is possible to also see vomiting and diarrhea.
There are several ornamental plants that contain cardiac glycosides. Plants such as clematis and foxglove can affect dogs, cats and horses to cause weakness, heart failure, drooling, and death.

There are hundreds of other plants that can be toxic. For more information on any toxic plants, consult with your veterinarian. Simple precautions can keep your pets safe and healthy.

Source:

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)

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Canine Obesity

Pug_on_scales_200Obesity is on the rise, and not just for humans. Dogs are increasingly overweight and even obese. In the United States, an estimated 43 million dogs are overweight or obese – that’s over half of all dogs! And it is not just dogs in the United States that need to lose a few pounds – canine obesity is also a problem in Canada, Europe, Australia and other countries worldwide.

Canine obesity increases the risk for osteoarthritis, insulin resistance, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart and respiratory problems, kidney disease, some types of cancer, and cranial cruciate ligament injury. Thanks to these increased health problems, overweight dogs face a decreased life expectancy of up to 2.5 years.

Even if your dog is just a couple pounds over his ideal weight, those few pounds could make a big difference to your dog’s health. For example, a 7lb Pomeranian is considered to be a “healthy” weight and the equivalent of a 145lb, 5’ 4” human female. An extra five pounds on the Pomeranian, however, is the equivalent to a 249lb female, which is more than 100lbs over the female’s ideal body weight. Just a few extra pounds really will make a big difference for your dog’s health.

Why are so many dogs overweight? Unfortunately, some pet owners are literally killing their dogs with too much food and too many treats! For example, only one ounce of cheese for a 20 pound dog is the equivalent of 1.5 hamburgers for the average woman! While dog owners may never intentionally mean to hurt their pet, overfeeding, lack of exercise, and poor dietary choices have led to a pet obesity crisis.

A lack of outdoor exercise is also a problem. Busy pet owners who work long hours simply don’t have the time to take their dog for longs walks, runs or play fetch. Together, too much food and a lack of exercise is the perfect recipe for dog obesity.

Early intervention will help overweight dogs get healthy. Your veterinarian can recommend the right diet and exercise program to help your dog lose the extra pounds.

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