Be sure to protect your pets from these plants this spring

Updated: Mar. 23, 2021 at 6:16 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Spring is a great time to plant new plants in your garden and around your home.

However, experts say there are some plants that you need to watch out for that can harm your pets.

“There are several [plants] that you need to be aware of that are very common and they are seen in a lot of different yards. Lilies is a big one, especially for cats,” Dr. Sarah Wooten, a veterinary expert with Pumpkin Insurance, tells WAFB.

“A lot of cat owners don’t even know that their cat has been poisoned by lilies even after it happens because it only takes one or two leaves,” Wooten says.

She says lilies, especially Daylilies, Easter Lilies, Japanese show lilies are all toxic to cats and can cause kidney failure.

You should also watch out for tulips, especially the bulbs.

If your dog likes to dig, Dr. Wooten says those bulbs can be really toxic to dogs, as well as, azaleas.

If you’ve watched “Wanda Vision,” you know that Sparky was killed by eating azaleas.

“So those are also very toxic to dogs and cats,” Dr. Wooten says.

Hydrangeas and rhododendrons can also harm your pets.

Elizabeth Vowell: “So you have named off plants that I think have all of those except for the hydrangeas are in my yard right now. Another interesting point that I did not realize that even if you have a lily out on display and there’s water in the pot, that even the water there could be poisonous to your animals.”

Dr. Wooten: “Absolutely. Cats and lilies do not go together at all. They are extraordinarily toxic. I know they’re beautiful, but if you have cats or cats in your neighborhood to keep them out of your house, in your yard.”

During the Easter season, many people in the south fill their gardens and homes with Easter lilies. If you’re going to have any of these plants in your home or garden, Dr. Wooten says you need to educate yourself about the signs of plant poisoning in pets.

“It can range from things to excessive drooling to vomiting and diarrhea. Some pets develop tremors or seizures and cats with the lilies developed kidney failure, which can look like excessive drinking and urinating. So know the signs also make sure that you have somewhere in your record your veterinarian on speed dial or the pet poison hotline, because both of them are going to be able to assist you if your pet is exposed to these plants,”

If your dog, cat, or other pet is poisoned, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435.

Dr. Wooten says plant poisonings are fairly common with pets in the U.S.

“Up to one-third of the calls to the pet poison hotline in twenty eighteen were plant poisoning. So they’re way more common than you think. Most of the time it’s a fairly mild poisoning,” she says.

Dr. Wooten warns in some cases you may not even notice it as a pet owner. Your pet could just be experiencing some random vomiting or diarrhea, but in some other cases it can be extraordinarily dangerous and even lethal.

So, if you do notice these signs, call your veterinarian or poison control.

“It’s also important to make sure that you do have an emergency backup plan just in case you do have an emergency or that your pet is covered by something like pet insurance, which can cover up to 90 percent of the costs,” Dr. Wooten says.

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