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Pet watch.

There are quite a few plants that are poisonous to pets, so it is always advisable to do an `audit' of your house and garden to eliminate any hazardous plants or flower arrangements.

Plants that can cause problems in pets include:

Lilies: All parts of lilies, such as tiger, Easter, stargazer and arum, are potentially toxic ( especially to cats. Lilies are often used in bouquets and pets can be poisoned through chewing parts of the plant, such as the leaves, stems or flower head. Even the pollen can be harmful, as cats may lick this off their fur after brushing against the flower head. The effects include vomiting, diarrhoea and drowsiness leading to coma or death.

Laburnum: This is a common ornamental tree with bunches of pendulous flowers that develop into flat pea-like pods that release minute dark-brown seeds when dry. Laburnum is also called Golden Rain Tree or Golden Chain, and related species, such as Scotch laburnum are equally toxic. Dogs tend to eat the seeds of this plant which can cause agitation, breathing difficulties, cramps and fits. Death can occur very quickly.

Daffodils: The bulbs are poisonous if eaten, but even eating the flowers, or drinking the water in the vase containing cut daffodils can cause symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea. Chewing a small portion of one bulb can prove fatal.

Lily-of-the-Valley: Flowers and leaves, which are often used in bouquets, contain a toxin that can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and heart problems in dogs and cats. The pet could also collapse and have fits.

Cherry Laurel: This is a hedging plant (often used in public parks and gardens). The most common cause of poisoning in dogs is through eating or chewing the leaves.

Castor Oil Bush: This plant is cultivated as both an indoor and outdoor plant, and dogs appear to like the seeds. Dogs also seem to be especially attracted to the `oilcakes' made from the plant. After eating the seeds or oilcakes, there is a latent period of 12 to 72 hours. After this there can be an episode of severe and lengthy gastroenteritis. The affected dog may fit, and the poison is usually fatal within 2 to 3 days.

Philodendron: All parts of this popular ornamental houseplant are highly toxic, although it is usually the leaves that pets chew or eat. Even contact with the plant can cause irritation to the eyes and mouth resulting in excessive salivation.

The plants listed are just a few of those that can poison or irritate our pets. There are many more, which is why it is so important for pet owners to find out about plants they come into contact with.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 25, 2005
Words:443
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