Our veterinarians have been seeing quite a few cases where a pet has ingested toxic plant matter from around the house. There are over 700 different plants that produce physiologically active or toxic substances which are dangerous to cats and dogs if ingested.
Some of the most common are the Azalea. These plants have a waxy leaf and can bloom multiple times during the year. They are perennial plants so they will continue to grow every year and are usually planted in the ground around the yard.
Another is Elephant Ear. This plant is usually a potted plant that doesn’t need much sun shine. These plants can live inside the home and thus are easily accessible to our pets. They are composed of a long stock and fan like a leaf that can reach up to 2 feet in diameter.
Lastly is the Rhododendron. These are closely related to the Azalea. Both have the waxy leaf and thrive in an environment just like the Sonoran Desert. These take a lot of sun so you will find them planted in sandy soil around the yard.
All of these plants can affect the health of your pet, which can range from mild nausea to death. There are multiple signs of toxicity. These include excessive salivation, vomiting, and lethargy. Other signs of late onset poisoning include racing or irregular pulse, cold extremities, and rapid breathing. The vulnerability of your pet depends on the species of the pet, amount of matter digested, and the size of your pet. If your pet has eaten any part of a plant it is important to call our veterinarians at Pet Doctor immediately. Be sure to bring in a sample of the plant you think your pet ingested if it is necessary to bring them in.