Spring is just around the corner! Even though it’s exciting to finally see color in our yards, it’s important to be aware of the potential dangers spring plants and fertilizers pose for pets.
Tulips (Tulipa spp.) and hyacinth (Hyacinthus spp.)
The toxic principle of these plants is very concentrated in the bulbs. When the plant parts or bulbs are chewed or ingested, it can result in tissue irritation to the mouth and esophagus. Typical signs include profuse drooling, vomiting or diarrhea, depending on the amount consumed. Ingestion of large amounts can result in increased heart rate and changes in respiration.
Daffodils (Narcissus spp.)
Ingestion of the bulb, plant or flower can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal
pain and even possible cardiac arrhythmia or respiratory depression. Also, toxins
found in the outer layer of the bulbs, similar to hyacinths, can cause severe tissue irritation and drooling.
Lilies (Lilium spp. and Hemerocallis spp.)
Many types of lilies are highly toxic to cats. Even small ingestions (such as the pollen, petals or leaves) can result in kidney failure. The most dangerous, potentially fatal varieties include tiger, day, Asiatic, Easter and Japanese show lilies. If you see your cat
consuming any part of a lily, bring your cat—and the plant—immediately to a veterinarian.
Crocus (Crocus spp. and Colchicum spp.)
Ingestion of spring crocus can cause general gastrointestinal upset including vomiting and
diarrhea. Autumn crocus, also known as meadow saffron, is highly toxic and can cause severe vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, liver and kidney damage and respiratory failure.
Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis spp.)
Ingestion of lily of the valley causes symptoms similar to foxglove ingestion. These symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, drop in heart rate, severe cardiac arrhythmias and possibly seizures.
Though most fertilizers are not very toxic (resulting in minor gastrointestinal irritation when consumed), some fertilizers can be fatal if ingested. Use caution with blood meal, bone meal, systemic rose and flower care products, pesticides and iron additives.
If you suspect that your pet has ingested anything harmful, seek immediate veterinary advice. Pet Poison Helpline is available 24/7 at 800-213-6680.*