HELP! What to do when your pet has eaten an unknown plant

The term pet parents have been around for a while, but a new title has emerged in recent years. Plant parents (or pet mom, pet dad, plant lady) are now the new thing! Usually, pet parents have an extra job as plant parents as well. Although our leafy and furry friends bring us so much joy, they might not always get along with each other. 🌴😾

Many of our green friends are toxic to our furry friends. It doesn’t help that our pets can be so curious about their surroundings, and might explore a little too much. Our beloved floofs might ingest their chlorophyll-filled friends who are harmful to their digestive system! 🙀 In this article, we will be exploring the common toxic household plants, steps to take if your pet is going through poisoning, and prevention methods. 🌱

Top household plants that are toxic to our pets 🌵

  • Snake Plant
  • Daffodils
  • Tulips 
  • Palm
  • Jade Plants
  • Aloe Vera
  • Monstera
  • ZZ Plant 
  • Peace Lily

Symptoms of poisoning ⚠️

  • In Cats – Excessive itching or scratching, swelling, red/watery eyes, irritation around the mouth, vomiting, diarrhea, breathing difficulties, irregular heartbeat, drooling, frequent urination
  • In Dogs – Excessive itching or scratching, agitation, depression, tremors, convulsions, nausea, vomiting, seizures, heart irregularities, diarrhea, oral irritation, pale gums, and inability to urinate

Steps to take as a pet parent

  1. Contact your veterinarian ASAP. They will give you further first-aid instructions for your specific pet.
  2. If your vet recommends inducing vomit, they will give you instructions on the method that is best and most suitable for your furry friend. 
  3. Observe your pet and collect a sample of their vomit (your vet might request a sample during the appointments). Alongside the barf, bring a sample of the plant your pet has ingested as well. 
  4. Immediately take your pet to the nearest vet after they have vomited. 

Please remember: It’s extremely important you contact your vet ASAP if your pet has ingested any potentially poisonous plants.

Treatment 💉

To prevent further absorption of the toxic substance, sometimes activated charcoal can be given to your pet orally. Activated Charcoal is universally used as an antidote to poisoning, for both humans and animals. 

Sometimes in more extreme cases, additional supportive treatment is needed for your pet to recover fully. This all depends on your pet’s condition and the vet might have to: control seizures, aid with breathing, treat shock, control irregular heartbeats, and treat pain.

Prevention Plan

As always, prevention is better than cure. You can take a look at the ASPCA list of Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants list here and make sure that your household does not have any toxic plants that can harm your furry friend. If it’s more complicated than that (you have a yard, garden, or forest behind), make sure that your pets will not be able to reach the plants, or have any access to them. 

This article is reviewed by the veterinarian from Small Animal Teaching Hospital, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University (CUVET)

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