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Protecting Your Furry Friends: A Comprehensive List of Toxic Plants to Avoid

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

Are you a pet owner looking to add some greenery to your home? Before you head to the nursery, make sure you check out this list from the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. They've identified a range of plants that can be toxic to pets, including some that may surprise you. From lilies to marijuana, sago palm to English ivy, there are many plants that can cause serious harm to your furry friends. Keep your pets safe by avoiding these toxic plants and opting for pet-friendly alternatives instead.


Here is a comprehensive list of the plants that ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center identifies as toxic to pets that you’ll want to leave out of your weekly spree to the nursery.

Lilies

Members of the Lilium spp. family are considered to be highly toxic to cats. Even ingestions of very small amounts of the plant can cause severe kidney damage.


Marijuana

Ingestion of Cannabis sativa by companion animals can result in depression of the central nervous system and coordination problems, as well as vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, increased heart rate and even seizures and coma.

Sago Palm

All parts of Cycas Revoluta are poisonous, but the seeds or "nuts" contain the largest amount of toxin. The ingestion of just one or two seeds can result in very serious effects, which include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, seizures, and liver failure.

Tulip/Narcissus Bulbs

The bulb portions of Tulipa/Narcissus spp. contain toxins that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions, and cardiac abnormalities.



Azalea/Rhododendron

Members of the Rhododenron spp. contain substances known as grayantoxins, which can produce vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, weakness, and depression of the central nervous system in animals. Severe azalea poisoning could ultimately lead to coma and death from cardiovascular collapse.


Oleander

All parts of Nerium oleander are considered to be toxic, as they contain cardiac glycosides that have the potential to cause serious effects that include gastrointestinal tract irritation, abnormal heart function, hypothermia, and even death.


Castor Bean

The poisonous principle in Ricinus communis is ricin, a highly toxic protein that can produce severe abdominal pain, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, weakness and loss of appetite. Severe cases of poisoning can result in dehydration, muscle twitching, tremors, seizures, coma, and death.



Cyclamen

Cylamen species contain cyclamine, but the highest concentration of this toxic component is typically located in the root portion of the plant. If consumed, Cylamen can produce significant gastrointestinal irritation, including intense vomiting. Fatalities have also been reported in some cases.


Kalanchoe

This plant contains components that can produce gastrointestinal irritation, as well as those that are toxic to the heart, and can seriously affect cardiac rhythm and rate.



Yew

Taxus spp. contains a toxic component known as taxine, which causes central nervous system effects such as trembling, coordination problems, and difficulty breathing. It can also cause significant gastrointestinal irritation and cardiac failure, which can result in death.


Amaryllis

Common garden plants popular around Easter, Amaryllis species contain toxins that can cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, anorexia, and tremors.



Autumn Crocus

Ingestion of Colchicum autumnale by pets can result in oral irritation, bloody vomiting, diarrhea, shock, multi-organ damage, and bone marrow suppression.



Chrysanthemum

These popular blooms are part of the Compositae family, which contain pyrethrins. If ingested they may produce gastrointestinal upset, including drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea. In certain cases, depression and loss of coordination may also develop if enough of any part of the plant is consumed.


English Ivy

Also called branching ivy, glacier ivy, needlepoint ivy, sweetheart ivy, and California ivy, Hedera helix contains triterpenoid saponins that, if ingested by pets, can result in vomiting, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, and diarrhea.


Peace Lily (aka Mauna Loa Peace Lily)

Spathiphyllum contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing and intense burning and irritation of the mouth, lips, and tongue in pets who ingest.


Pothos

Pothos (both Scindapsus and Epipremnum) belongs to the Araceae family. If chewed or ingested, this popular household plant can cause significant irritation and swelling of the oral tissues and other parts of the gastrointestinal tract.


Schefflera

Schefflera and Brassaia actinophylla contain calcium oxalate crystals that can cause oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing and intense burning and irritation of the mouth, lips, and tongue in pets who ingest.


ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center provided this comprehensive list to educate pet owners on the risks and dangers of common plants we bring into the home.


Remember, when in doubt, it's always best to consult with your veterinarian if you suspect your pet has ingested a toxic substance. With proper care and attention, you can help keep your pets healthy and happy for years to come. So, make sure you do your research before bringing any new plants into your home, and always keep your furry friends' safety in mind.


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