Poisonous plants for pets

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EDWARDSBURG As summer approaches, you may be itching to get outside, and so is your furry friend. But to avoid actual "itching" and other potentially dangerous situations, a local vet says it's best to know your plants.

The most common backyard problem plants for pets are Oleander, Lilies, Daffodils, tulips and Rhododendron. Bulb plants are problematic for dogs who dig, since the bulbs are toxic.

Many people worry about fertilizers and pesticides, but Dr. Visser of the Center for Animal Health says if you follow proper waiting periods listed on products or advised by professionals, there should be no reason for concern.

If you are concerned your pet has ingested poisonous plants, Dr. Visser recommends you keep an eye out for the signs and seek professional veterinary care immediately.

"Maybe the first sign people notice will be irritation in the mouth, so, slobbering, drooling, pawing at the mouth. [It] could be an indication there's been a sensitivity reaction in the mouth," said Dr. Visser.

"The best advice is for people to know what plants they have in their yard and compare that list with the Poison Control Center's list of poisonous plants."

According to Dr. Visser, a newer trend pet owners should avoid is Cocoa Bean Mulch. The mulch contains the same toxic elements as chocolate, which can be deadly in excess to dogs.

Away from home, problems can persist for pets. If you take your dog near a lake, Dr. Visser suggests avoiding Blue Green Algae, a toxin most severe during a drought.

"Pets that come into contact with this can become acutely poisoned within just a matter of 24 hours after that exposure," said Dr. Visser

Berries, acorns, twigs and leaves are distracting for dogs, but Dr. Visser suggests avoiding them all together during walks and hikes outside.

"Some of those can cause some real acute stomach toxicity, liver problems," said Dr. Visser.

If your dog does consumer an unknown berry or leaf and shows signs of sickness, Dr. Visser suggests collecting a sample of the berry and leaf to confirm with a vet or online.

For more information about poisonous plants for pets visit the "toxic plants section," of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

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