Protect your Pets from Dangerous Spring Flowers!

Spring flowers can be dangerous to your pets. Mary Getten, an Animal Communicator, shares some tips for you in keeping your pets safe.

It’s spring and plants are popping up all over. Did you know that over 700 common plants can be poisonous to cats and dogs if ingested? For instance, Easter Lilies are very toxic to cats.  It’s good to know which plants may be a problem and signs that your pet may have eaten part of one.   Plant poisoning can cause a wide range of symptoms that include mouth irritation, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, hallucinations, seizures, coma, and skin rash.  If you think that your animal may have ingested a poisonous substance, contact your local vet or the ASPCA 24-hour emergency poison hotline at 1-888-426-4435.
Below is a list of the top 10 poisonous plants for cats and dogs from the Pet Poison Helpline – For more information go to

Top 10 Plants Poisonous to Pets

Dr. Justine Lee, Associate Director of Veterinary Services, explains what plants could be a potential danger to your cat or dog. Every day, Pet Poison Helpline receives dozens of phone calls from dog owners and cat owners saying “My cat ate a lily!” or “My dog ate a plant. Is it poisonous?” Some of the most poisonous plants for dogs and cats are reviewed below. While there are thousands of species of plants and flowers, only a small percentage of plants are truly dangerous and poisonous to your pet. Make sure you know which plants are most deadly to avoid your dog or cat from getting into these poisonous flowers and poisonous plants!

Autumn Crocus

autumn_crocus-150x150There are two Crocus plants: one that blooms in the spring (Crocus species) and the other in the autumn (Colchicum autumnale). These spring plants are more common and are part of the Iridaceae family. These ingestions can cause general gastrointestinal upset including vomiting and diarrhea. These should not be mistaken for Autumn Crocus, part of the Liliaceae family, which contain colchicine. The Autumn Crocus is highly toxic and can cause severe vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, liver and kidney damage, and respiratory failure. If you’re not sure what plant it is, bring your pet to their veterinarian immediately for care. Signs may be seen immediately but can be delayed for days.



azalea-150x150In the same family as rhododendrons, azaleas can have serious effects on pets. Eating even a few leaves can result in vomiting, diarrhea and excessive drooling; without immediate veterinary attention, the pet could fall into a coma and possibly die.


cyclamen-150x150The roots of this seasonal flowering plant are especially dangerous to pets. If ingested, cyclamen can cause severe vomiting and even death.


kalanchoe-150x150This popular flowering succulent plant can cause vomiting, diarrhea and heart arrhythmias if ingested by pets.




lily-150x150There are the most dangerous and benign lilies out there, and it’s important to know the difference. Peace, Peruvian, and Calla lilies contain oxalate crystals that cause minor signs, such as tissue irritation to the mouth, tongue, pharynx, and esophagus – this results in minor drooling. The more dangerous, potentially fatal lilies are true lilies, and these include Tiger, Day, Asiatic, Easter and Japanese Show lilies – all of which are highly toxic to cats! Even small ingestions (such as 2-3 petals or leaves) can result in severe kidney failure. 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 we can treat the poisoning. Decontamination (like inducing vomiting and giving binders,  like activated charcoal) are imperative in the early toxic stage, while aggressive intravenous fluid therapy, kidney function monitoring tests, and supportive care can greatly improve the prognosis.



white_oleander-150x150Oleander is an outdoor shrub, popular for its evergreen qualities and delicate flowers. However, the leaves and flowers are extremely toxic if ingested and can cause severe vomiting, slow the heart rate and possibly even cause death.


dieffenbachia-150x150Popular in many homes and offices, dieffenbachia can cause intense oral irritation, drooling, nausea, vomiting and difficulty swallowing if ingested.


daffodil-150x150These flowers contain lycorine, an alkaloid with strong emetic properties (something that triggers vomiting). Ingestion of the bulb, plant or flower can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and even possible cardiac arrhythmia’s or respiratory depression. Crystals are found in the outer layer of the bulbs, similar to hyacinths, which cause severe tissue irritation and secondary drooling. Daffodil ingestion can result in more severe symptoms, so if an exposure is witnessed or symptoms are seen, we recommend seeking veterinary care for further supportive care.

Lily of the Valley

lilly_of_the_valley2-150x150The Convallaria majalis plant contains cardiac glycosides which will cause symptoms similar to digitalis (foxglove) ingestion. These symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, a drop in heart rate, severe cardiac arrhythmia’s, and possible seizures. Pets with any known exposure to this plant should be examined and evaluated by a veterinarian and treated symptomatically.


Sago Palm

sago_palm_1-150x150Very popular in warmer climates, this household and outdoor plant can be very harmful to pets. If ingested, the leaves and seeds can cause vomiting, bloody stools, damage to the stomach lining, severe liver failure and, in some cases, death.

Tulips and Hyacinths

tulips-150x150Tulips contain allergenic lactones while hyacinths contain similar alkaloids. The toxic principle of these plants is very concentrated in the bulbs (versus the leaf or flower), so make sure your dog isn’t digging up the bulbs in the garden. When the plant parts or bulbs are chewed or ingested, it can result in tissue irritation to the mouth and esophagus. Typical signs include profuse drooling, vomiting, or even diarrhea, depending on the amount consumed. There’s no specific antidote, but with supportive care from the veterinarian (including rinsing the mouth, anti-vomiting medication, and possible subcutaneous fluids), animals do quite well. With large ingestion of the bulb, more severe symptoms, such as an increase in heart rate and changes in respiration can be seen and should be treated by a veterinarian. These more severe signs seen in cattle or our overzealous, chow hound Labradors.

This is only a partial list of poisonous plants.  For a more complete list of plants poisonous to cats and dogs, visit our Poison List.

If you suspect your pet has ingested any of these items or any other questionable substance, call Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian for assistance. Accurate and timely identification of the suspected substance is very important. Having the container, package, or label in hand will save valuable time and may save the life of your pet.

Give a Kindle for Christmas!

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This year for Christmas I bought myself an Inversion table. Not that I have Bat Medicine, but I have dreamed of hanging upside down for years now. The thought of my spine gently stretching is, well, you know.

If I didn’t have a Kindle though, I would have bought myself a Kindle. Not the new Fire Kindle that is advertised, but like the one I now have, the Kindle. The Kindle Touch would be nice. I’m not sure about the Kindle Keyboard; would have to see it first.  I like that the screen does not have back lighting and is easy on the eyes. It doesn’t feel like working on the computer! I did buy a cover with a light and that works fine for me.
Who would love a Kindle?

  •   Someone like myself who doesn’t like to be the passenger in a car. In my case, specifically last year when in an auto-rickshaw where we were battling cars, motorcycles, bicycles, rickshaws, cows and buses in the streets of Kolkata.  The Kindle was a perfect place to hide my face, even in the dark because I turned the light on!
  •   A loved one who generally has five to seven books either by the bedside or the table near the sofa. It is really nice to switch from a novel to a self-help book to an inspirational book and back again. Then if I have a class I have to study for I can read some of the text, break with a chapter in my novel and back again.
  •   Travelers are great prospects for the Kindle. I have a friend who just left for Guatemala to live on her sailboat for a month. She suspected her sisters would buy her a Kindle for Christmas. I hope they did. Being an avid reader, lugging a suitcase of books across the ocean is not only heavy, but expensive.
  •   Someone who has to share a lap with pets and often has a hard time holding a heavy book when reading until early hours of the morning.
  •   The person who has been hinting would be a great candidate for a Kindle. Now, although I like the one I have, listen to see if they hint for the Fire or not. It’s best to give them what they want.

I remember many years ago when I first became aware of Amazon, I called my brother (not a reader, but an investor) and said to him, “I don’t know much about stocks, but if I bought anything, I’d buy this.”

Amazon has continued to amaze me and I love the Kindle! Hey, I’ll even have an e-book to blog about in the next couple months.

Another reason for you to buy a Kindle.

Have a happy and playful holiday!

Read on!