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Watch out for the toxic beauty.

November 21st, 2018

 

Having mischievous terriers, I’m always aware of where to put new plants, decorations, and even the Christmas tree!

I love the Yucca plant and had one for a few years until my Scottie Tank, out of the blue, decided it was time to re-plant it. He dug the soil out of the pot and proceeded to chew the stem along with a few leaves. I was speechless. The soil was everywhere (thank goodness we have a stone floor), and the plant completely butchered … but he looked very satisfied with his work. It was only years later that I found out the Yucca, amongst some other household plants, contains alkaloids, saponins, glycosides, and that they can cause symptoms of poisoning.

The signs of intoxication can show after some time with salivation, vomiting, lethargy, and diarrhoea. Thankfully Mr. Tank didn’t have any of these symptoms, he killed the plant but didn’t eat any of its parts … but if he had, a trip to the vet’s would be inevitable.

As Christmas is approaching, and seasonal plants and flower arrangements begin to appear in our homes, we need to be aware that despite their beauty, some of them can be dangerous to our pets.

The poinsettia which is native to Mexico is a very popular Christmas and holiday plant grown indoors, mainly for the attractive red flower heads and green foliage. Please keep this plant away from your pets as it contains certain diterpenes, which are poisonous to animals. They can cause irritation inside the mouth, vomiting, diarrhoea with blood, and liver damage.

Another typical Christmas plant, mistletoe, contains plant proteins called viscotoxins, which on the cellular level are poisonous to all animals including birds. They can be found in the stems and leaves during winter and affect the digestive and respiratory tracts of animals.

As the countdown begins we also start gathering more sweets and chocolates and other goodies in our homes … we’re like little hamsters stockpiling, lol 😋. Over indulgence with these goodies can make us feel good for a moment but then uncomfortable, we can experience a sugar rush and even belly ache can appear… and what about our dogs? Well, for them it can be much worse. I wrote a blog in the summer about common foods that are not good for your dog which you can read here.

Keep your dogs’ safe this pre-holiday and holiday season!

Jitka xx

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