Watch out: Garden plants can prove fatal to your pets

Remember: lily pollen is extremely poisonous to cats.
Remember: lily pollen is extremely poisonous to cats.

At the vets: by Marc Abraham.

With the imminent arrival of spring in West Sussex many of us will be looking forward to spending more time outdoors – as will our cats and dogs - but did you know that our gardens harbour an array of pet health hazards?

Warmer weather and lighter evenings equal more time spent enjoying our gardens, starting with simple weeding and planting. But while many of the plants that we commonly keep are beautiful to look at they can also cause serious damage to our pets.

For example, bulbs of popular flowers such as daffodils can prove deadly if eaten, with other toxic plants, including tulips, snowdrops, lily of the valley and aconite, potentially causing serious internal problems even death.

Sadly, there are no specific antidotes to these dangerous plant toxins, so if you notice any signs of poisoning e.g. excessive salivation, vomiting, diarrhoea, appearing ‘drunk’ or even collapsing – contact your vet immediately.

Many of us will bring these flowers indoors as bouquets, but remember lilies carry pollen so poisonous that it can cause irreversible kidney failure if ingested by curious cats.

As well as toxic plants - pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers all need to be kept in a safe place as these can lead to serious problems if swallowed, preventing access to plants that have already been treated with such chemicals. Why not consider using safer non-toxic alternatives instead.

Spring means fleas, ticks, and other parasites really make their presence felt, with populations increasing dramatically resulting in widespread discomfort and even disease transmission, e.g. tapeworm.

Just like us dogs and cats can develop allergies to plants, pollens, and grasses; appearing as itchy skin, ear problems, runny eyes, behaviour changes, and occasionally hair loss and inflamed skin too.

As with all conditions, the sooner pets are treated, the better their chances of recovery. But prevention is always key so make sure your dogs and cats aren’t tempted by spring flowers, and your pet’s parasite control is all up to date.

If you’re worried your pet has eaten something he/she shouldn’t have please call our Grove Lodge 24 hour emergency line on 01903 234866.