Plant Toxicity in Dogs
Flowers and plants add beauty to any holiday, and they make great holiday gifts. But if your family includes
pets, you may want to learn which plants are safe and which ones you need to avoid.
Here is a list of plants to avoid. Remember that ingesting bulb plants often cause the most severe illnesses.
•Holly (Ilex sp.). This plant, commonly found around Christmas time, can cause intense vomiting and
diarrhea. Mental depression can also occur.
•Amaryllis (Amaryllis spp). Ingestion can result in vomiting, diarrhea, depression, lack of appetite, tremors,
drooling and abdominal pain.
•Mistletoe (Phoradendron spp.). This plant, another Christmas plant, can also cause significant vomiting and
diarrhea. In addition, this plant has been associated with difficulty breathing, slowed heart rate, collapse and,
if a lot is ingested, death has occurred.
Some animals may even show erratic behavior and possible hallucinations.
•Poinsettia (Euphorbia). This plant can cause irritation to the mouth and stomach and sometimes vomiting.
It has a low level of toxicity and is overrated as a toxic plant. Many people consider it basically non-toxic.
•Christmas Cactus, Thanksgiving cactus, Easter cactus (Schlumbergera or Zygocactus). In dogs, if large
quantities of this plant are ingested, vomiting, possibly with blood, diarrhea, possibly with blood and mental
depression have been reported. With small ingestions, typically there are no signs of toxicity. These plants are
considered low toxicity plants.
Some less common toxic winter holiday plants include:
•American Bittersweet (Celastrus scandens). Ingestion results in weakness, vomiting and seizures.
•European Bittersweet (Solanum dulcamara). Ingestion results in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, depression,
lack of appetite, weakness, confusion and low heart rate.
•Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium). Ingestion results in vomiting, diarrhea, depression,
drooling and lack of appetite.
•Christmas Rose (Helleborus niger). Ingestion results in abdominal pain, vomiting, bloody diarrhea and
•Jerusalem Cherry (Solanum pseudocapsicuni). Ingestion results in vomiting, diarrhea, mouth ulcers,
seizures, mental depression, respiratory depression, shock and death.
•Autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale). Ingestion of the bulbs results in mouth irritation, blooding
vomiting, diarrhea, shock, kidney failure, liver damage and bone marrow suppression.
•Thanksgiving Cactus (Zygocactus truncactus). Ingestion results in vomiting, diarrhea and depression. Cats
also can develop staggering.
•Christams Palm (Veitchia merrillii). This plant is considered nontoxic.
•Christmas Orchid (Cattleya trianaei). This plant is considered nontoxic.
•Christmas Dagger Fern (Polystichym spp). This plant is considered nontoxic.
•Mistletoes Cactus (Thipsalis cassutha). This plant is considered nontoxic.
•Burning Bush (Euronymous alatus). Ingestion can result in vomiting, diarrhea, depression and lack of
Cocoa Mulch used for landscaping. Cocoa bean shell mulch products have an attractive odor and smell, and
some dogs will eagerly eat large amounts of the mulch. Caffeine is toxic at about 63 mg per pound of body
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Foods and Plants Harmful to Your Dog
This is a list of foods that are toxic to dogs
1. Alcohol - Alcohol of any kind (beer, wine,etc.) can to lead to coma and
2. Avocado - All parts of the avocado is toxic to dogs, including the avocado
3. Bones - particularly chicken bones can splinter and or lodge in the dogs
4. Broccoli- toxic in large quantities only.
5. Cat food - generally too high in proteins and fats.
6. Chocolate - contains theobromine, a compound that is a cardiac stimulant
and a diuretic that can be fatal to dogs. The darker chacolate and baking
chocolate being the most dangerous.
7. Coffee, coffee grinds, tea and soft drinks- due to the caffeine.
8. Dairy Products - Lactose intolerant dogs are stricken with gas and
diarreah. The high fat content can lead to pancreatitis
9. Grapes and Raisins - Dangerous becaue of an unknown substance that is
toxic to dogs,affects the kidneys and can cause death.
10. Hops - unknown compound causes panting elevated
temperature,increased heart rate,, seizures and death.
11. Human Vitamin Supplements - especially those containing iron can
damage the lining of the digestive system, as well as cause liver and kidney
12. Liver - large amounts of liver causes Vitamin A toxicity affecting the
muscles and bones.
13. Macadamia Nuts - contain an unknown substance with affects the
nervous system and muscle.
14. Marajuana - Changes in the heart rate, vomiting.
15. Most fruit pits and seeds (only)- contain cyanogenic glycosides resulting
in cyanide poisoning.
16. Moldy or Spoiled Food Garbage - multiple toxins causing diarreah and
affecting other organs.
17. Mushrooms - contain toxins that can cause liver and kidney damage.
18. Onions and Garlic - raw or cooked sulfoxids and disulfides which can
damage red blood cells causing anemia.
19. Persimmons - can cause enteritis and intestinal blockage.
20.Potatos, Potato Peelings, Rhubabrb,Potato and Tomato Stems and Leaves
- contain oxalates and can afect the urinary, nervous and digestive systems.
21. Raw eggs - decreases the absorption of biotin Vitamin B. Can also be a
source of Salmonella.
22. Raw Fish- can cause a thiamine deficiency which can cause seizures,loss
of appitite and death.
23.Salt Baking Soda Baking Powder- if eaten in large quantities can cause an
24. Sugar Free - containing Xylitol has been found to cause liver failure in
25. Yeast Dough - yeast dough also causes gas in the digestive system,
when expanding can cause intestinal rupture.
When you should call your veterinarian
If you think your dog needs medical attention call the veterinarian.Listed below are some reasons to take your dog for medical attention
Observe your dog closely. Is behavior and activity otherwise normal? Think about and try to identify the cause of the problem. Could your dog have eaten something (like grass, garbage, or a
dead animal) that upset its digestive system? Watch how your dog vomits or eliminates so you can describe it to your vet if symptoms persist. Examine the stool or vomit. Collect samples if you
believe you will need to take your dog in. Monitor the dog's weight for possible weight loss.
blood in vomit, vomiting accompanied by diarrhea, vomit looks and smells like stool, vomiting is projectile, vomiting is sporadic and there is no relationship to meals
multiple bouts of vomiting occur over a short period of time, ingestion of a poison (like antifreeze or fertilizer) is suspected, vomiting persists, stomach bloating occurs or your dog tries to vomit
but can not, dog also appears listless, there is weight loss, dog is showing other signs of illness such as labored breathing or pain
bloody diarrhea, diarrhea accompanied by vomiting, multiple bouts of vomiting occur over a short period of time, ingestion of a poison is suspected, fever and other signs of toxicity are present,
diarrhea persists more than a day.
Dog appears listless, Weight loss, Dog is showing other signs of illness such as labored breathing or pain, Dog seems off balance,Dog cannot have a bowel movement