Plants are wonderful outdoors and indoors, and they are certainly a beautiful addition to your home. However, if you have pets, you may want to reconsider which plants you choose to have in your house (and out if you have an outdoor dog). Some plants are completely harmless if they are chewed or eaten, but some are very toxic and can even cause death. Because dogs are naturally curious and will often eat anything, it is a good idea to doggie-proof your house where plants are concerned. Here is a brief list of several plants that are harmful to your pet if ingested.
The first plant on the list is the Azalea (Rhododendron sp.). This is a poisonous plant, though consumption does not usually result in death, it does cause severe irritation. The symptoms of ingestion include stomach irritation, abdominal pain, an abnormal heart rate or rhythm, and convulsions. Sometimes, in great quantities of Azalea consumption, a coma and/or death can result.
Castor bean (Ricinus communis) is a common plant that can be very harmful if it is eaten. The primary toxic ingredient in this plant is called ricin. Ricin has been used as poison for decades, and about 1 milligram is enough to kill an adult human. These plants may be grown as an ornamental plant, or they can be a household plant. Though the seeds are primarily the most harmful part of the plant, consider the whole plant toxic. The symptoms of ingestion are vomiting, abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, shortness of breath, dehydration with excessive thirst and muscle twitching or convulsions.
English Ivy (Hedera helix L.) is a beautiful plant that can be found almost anywhere. They are gorgeous and elegant as they climb up the side of the house, or as they hang from a plant holder in your home. English Ivy’s beauty may be deceiving, since this plant is very toxic to dogs if consumed. The symptoms of ingestion include stomach irritation, diarrhea, difficulty breath and coma resulting in death.
Johnson grass (Sorghum halepense) is not a household plant, but it grows heavily in meadows, fields, by rivers, ponds and lakes. So if you live in a rural area and have a pet that loves to roam around outside, you will want to be familiar with the appearance and symptoms of Johnson grass poisoning. The symptoms of consumption include difficulty breathing, severe anxiety, convulsions and coma. There is an antidote available, so be sure to take your dog to the vet as quickly as possible if you suspect Johnson grass poisoning.
Lantana is the final plant that is harmful if eaten. It is a popular plant that adorns gardens almost everywhere. It does not always cause death, but it can in severe cases. The leaves and berries of the Lantana plant are the most toxic part. The symptoms of ingestion include weakness, sluggishness, and bloody diarrhea. If the case is severe, death will occur within 2 to 4 days time.
Protecting your pets by considering what plants you put in your home and in your garden is an important thing to do. Since you can’t keep an eye on your pets all the time, the safest and best solution is to simply remove these plants or avoid them altogether so there won’t be an accident. Your pets will thank you for keeping them safe!