In observance of National Poison Prevention Week, which is the third week of March, the veterinarians and animal care staff at Waipahu Waikele Pet Hospital in Waipahu, HI, want to talk to caring pet owners about toxic plants for pets. The list is unfortunately very long, even if you only focus on Hawaii's plants, but you can keep your pets safe by paying attention to where they go, and by learning more about Hawaii's diverse flora.
Here are some of the most common toxic plants you might find in your own backyard:
- Aloe Vera: This common cactus is soothing on sunburns, but dangerous for pets. Signs of ingestion include vomiting and diarrhea, lack of appetite, depression, and tremors, and symptoms may appear about six to 12 hours after ingestion. Pets aren't usually tempted to nibble on aloe vera, but if you have it growing outside, take care to remove any split leaves so your furry friend can't reach its juices. If you suspect that your pet has ingested aloe vera, call your local veterinary hospital immediately.
Numerous flowers are toxic for pets, including poinsettias, rhododendrons, periwinkle, daffodils, azaleas, lilies,
and foxgloves. Symptoms of
include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive
intense stomach irritation.
The best way to protect your pet is to familiarize yourself with the
flowers in your neighborhood,
and keep your pet away. Cats
are particularly sensitive to flower poisoning, especially
from lilies, which can
cause kidney failure.
- Avocados: Avocados are known for growing all over the islands, and their toxicity varies. Birds and rabbits are the most at risk, with symptoms of poisoning including respiratory problems, fluid accumulation around the heart, and even death. Cats and dogs, on the other hand, may only get stomach aches, but it depends on the species of avocado they consume. Seek a veterinarian's advice if your pet has eaten any part of an avocado.
Among their many pet services, the veterinarians at Waipahu Waikele Pet Hospital are available for after-hours emergencies, so if you suspect that your pet has been poisoned, bring them in right away. To schedule an appointment or to reach the after-hours service, call (808) 671-7387. You can also visit their website to learn more.