Protect Your Dogs and Pets from Accidentally Ingesting Poisonous Plants
It is a ruff question, but how do you really view your relationship with your pet? Are you a devoted owner who coddles your pup, or do you often forget that you even have your four-legged friend?
I have discovered that living in Paradise (Hawaii) has several plants (some very beautiful) that are poisonous to dogs.
Usually when you get a new dog, they go through several stages. One is the "biting stage". This is like a normal human baby, anything within eye site goes into the mouth. For your dog, if it moves, he will chew on it, if it smells he will chew on it. So it is wise to be aware of what plants pose a hazard to your dog if it is consumed.
The first is the Caster Bean which contains the toxin Ricin. Symptoms that your pet may have eaten it is an increase in body temperature accompanied by depression. Then he will start vomiting and have profuse diarrhea with our without blood.
To relieve symptoms and give first aid, prevent further ingestion of the plant and contact your veterinarian immediately. They can instruct you on appropriate medical procedures.
Another common plant in Hawaii is the Sago Palms (Cycads) which contains the toxin Cyeasin.
Symptoms include bloody vomiting, diarrhea, bloody stool, bruising and increased thirst. Only a few of the seeds of this plant can kill a dog. Seek veterinary attention as soon as you suspect consumption of this plant.
Azaleas are very pretty, but the whole plant is poisonous, especially the foliage. Symptoms of ingestion could include excessive drooling, diarrhea, weakness, vomiting, abnormally low blood pressure, suppression of the nervous system, coma and death.
Seek veterinary attention if you suspect that your dog has been into the azaleas as soon as possible.
Bird of Paradise are beautiful flowers but they can make your dog very sick. They contains a toxin that is presumed to be hydrocyanic acid of tannins.
Symptoms includes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Try to induce vomiting with a solution of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and provide symptomatic treatment. Your pet will usually make a full recovery within 24 to 48 hours of ingestion. If not, consult your veterinarian.
The Oleander contains deadly toxins that slow down the heart.
Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, heart irregularities, decreased body temperature and death.
Seek emergency veterinary treatment. To treat, induce vomiting by stomach pumping to remove any undigested plant matter.
We have plenty of these flowers in Hawaii. You might want to study what plants in your area of the world are toxic to dogs also.
There are other plants than can be dangerous to your dog which include aloe, avacado, chrysanthemum, anthurium, coral plant, elephant's ear, eggplant, grapes, Japanese yew, macadamia nut, morning glory, milkweed, onion, poinsettia, tomato, potato and star of bethlehem. Who knew?
As a precaution, I have been told that if you spray some pepper spray on the plants when they are wet it will keep the dogs away. Also, you can use a foul-tasting spray (like bitter apple or bitter herbs), formulated
to repel pets. Try household vinegar in a spray bottle as a
natural deterrent. Tobasco or hot chili oil also work if you dog is determined.
If you are out on a walk and your dog starts eating plants, tug
gently on his lead, but only very slightly so that knows he should not touch it. Praise him in a happy voice and give him a treat like a dog biscuit. Be aware of what plants are in your neighborhood or where you often walk your dog. Make sure you give your dog enough chewy toys and bones to get his fill of chewing.