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Harmful Holiday Plants and Your Pets

November 27, 2014

Harmful Holiday Pets Plants

Today we would like to discuss the topic of of seasonal, holiday plants and your pets. Many of these plants can be harmful to your pets, so special care must be taken. The poinsettia plant can be harmful not only through ingestion, but also through contact with the skin. The plant contains diterpenid euphorbal ester and sapionin, which like detergents can cause rash on pets, causing a red and itchy pot if they come in contact with the skin. The white sap excreted by the poinsettia can prove more severe if ingested, side effects such as vomiting, lose of bowel control, redness in the eyes, and in some cases the ingestion can prove fatal. It’s also worth noting that their are no known antidotes for this plants toxicity.

Other holiday plants can also provide dangerous to pets. Fresh cut banquets containing lilies and daffodils can be even more precarious than a poinsettia. Mistletoe, holly berries, and rosemary can cause acute kidney failure, often leading to death if ingested. If your pets displays hypertension, ataxia, or seizures to is possible that they’ve been infected by the plant. If these systems are severe or your animal collapses, please contact your veterinarian immediately.

If you have a live Christmas Tree, be sure to change the water often. As the tree soaks in the water it can release molds, harmful bacteria, and even pesticides or chemicals in the water. Pets, especially dogs often attempt to lap up the water located in tree stands. Even a small amount of this contaminated water could be harmful to your pet.

Animals naturally chew plants for roughage and domestic pets (especially dogs and cats) have generally lost their ability to distinguish the different between good and poisonous plants. The only guaranteed method to prevent your animal from a potentially harmful plant is to simply not have them in your home. We realize this may not be a realistic approach however. So, to limit your animals interaction, place the plants out of reach to the animals. Placing cat nip, healthy grasses, or even oats around the room can also provide your pets with a healthy alternative, and these plants are easy to grow in your greenhouse.

By simply taking a few precautions this season,  your entire family (pets included) can have a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season!