Toxic Plants To Dogs/Animals-Update

Did you know that there are actually over 700 plants that can be poisonous or toxic to your pet?’ That size of a number seems almost incomprehensible and makes you wonder if there are actually any plants left over that are NOT poisonous to animals!

The list included here cannot possibly begin to cover every single poisonous plant in existence, and it should also be said that some of these plants are much more toxic than others are. It is important to use your best judgment when determining whether or not these plants should remain in your home or garden. Consider your personal situation and the normal behavior of your pets. If you keep any of these plants in areas that cannot be accessed by your pet, or if you have a pet that has never bothered with getting into your plants in the past, then it is likely you shouldn’t have a problem with keeping those particular species of plants in a home with pets.

The most important thing for you do to when assessing your current plant situation, is to dig a little bit deeper and find out exactly how toxic certain plants can be and how they can affect your animal.

Let’s begin by looking at a list of the 10 Most Common Poisonous Plants

Marijuana – Animals who attempt to snack on this plant can suffer serious consequences such as diarrhea, vomiting, increased heart rate, drooling, in-coordination, and even possibly seizures and coma.

Sago Palm – While the seeds and nuts of this plant are most poisonous, the entire plant is toxic. Animals ingesting parts of this plant may suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, depression, seizures and liver failure.

Lilies – Plants of the lily variety are very poisonous to cats. Even very small amounts of this plant could cause serious kidney damage.

Tulips – The toxic portion of this plant is the actual bulb, which can cause drooling, central nervous system depression, gastrointestinal irritation, cardiac issues and convulsions.

Azalea – The toxins in azalea plants can be very severe and potentially cause drooling, diarrhea, vomiting, central nervous system weakening and depression, and in some cases possibly coma or death.

Oleander – All portions of this plant are poisonous and can cause gastrointestinal irritation, hypothermia, heart problems and possibly death.

Castor Bean – Poisoning as a result of this plant can cause abdominal pain, drooling, diarrhea, vomiting increased thirst, loss of appetite and weakness. More serious cases could also lead to dehydration, tremors, seizures, twitching muscles, coma and possibly death.

Cyclamen – The most poisonous portion of this plant is located in the root. Ingestion of the plant can cause severe vomiting and gastrointestinal irritation. In some cases death has been reported as a result.

Kalanchoe – Ingestion of this plant can cause gastrointestinal irritation and cardiac rhythm and rate problems.

Yew – Poisoning as a result of the yew plant can affect the nervous system and cause in-coordination, trembling and breathing difficulties. It may also result in gastrointestinal irritation, cardiac failure and could possibly lead to death.


The following is a list containing many other well-known and common plants that can be poisonous or toxic to pets.

Aconite – Is a garden flower whose roots, foliage and seeds can be poisonous.

Apple – The seeds of an apple can be poisonous to pets.

Arrowgrasses – These are marsh type plants whose leaves contain poisons.

Atropa Belladonna – This is a type of garden herb in which the entire plant can be poisonous to pets, especially its seeds and roots.

Autumn Crocus – This is a commonly found garden flower in which the entire plant can be poisonous.

Baneberry – This is a wildflower whose berries and roots are the poisonous portions.

Bird of Paradise – This is a garden flower whose pods are poisonous.

Black Locust – This is a tree in which the entire plant can be poisonous, especially the bark and shoots.

Bloodroot – Is a wildflower and herb whose stem and roots are most poisonous, however the entire plant is toxic.

Box – Is an ornamental shrub that is poisonous in its entirety, but especially the leaves.

Buckeye – This is a tree whose sprouts, nuts and seeds contain poisons.

Buttercup – This is a wildflower and garden herb that is poisonous in its entirety but mostly in the leaves.

Caladium – Is a houseplant that is poisonous in its entirety.

Carolina Jessamine – This is an ornamental plant whose flowers and leaves contain poisons.

Chinaberry Tree – Is a tree whose berries are poisonous.

Chockcherries – This is a wild shrub whose poisonous parts include the leaves, cherries and pit.

Christmas Rose – Is a garden flower that contains toxic leaves and rootstock.

Common Privet – Is an ornamental shrub whose leaves and berries can be poisonous.

Corn Cockle – Is a wildflower and weed whose seeds are particularly poisonous.

Cowbane – This is a wildflower and herb that is poisonous in its entirety, especially the roots.

Cow Cockle – Is a wildflower and weed whose seeds are poisonous.

Cowslip – Is a wildflower and herb whose entire plant is poisonous, especially the leaves and stem.

Daffodil – Is a garden flower whose bulbs are poisonous.

Daphne – This is an ornamental shrub that contains poisonous bark, berries and leaves.

Death Camas – This is a field herb whose poisonous parts include the leaves, stems, seeds and flowers.

Delphinium – Is a wildflower that is poisonous in its entirety, especially the sprouts.

Dumbcane – This is a houseplant and is poisonous in its entirety.

Dutchman’s Breeches – Is a wild and garden flower whose roots and foliage are poisonous.

Elderberry – Is a tree whose poisonous parts include the leaves, bark, roots and buds.

Elephant’s Ear – This is a houseplant poisonous in its entirety.

English Ivy – Is an ornamental vine that is completely poisonous but especially the leaves and berries.

European Bittersweet – This is a vine poisonous in its entirety but especially in the berries.

False Flax – Is a wild herb whose seeds are poisonous.

False Hellebore – Is an ornamental flower whose roots, leaves and seeds are toxic.

Fan Weed – This is a wildflower and herb whose seeds are poisonous.

Field Peppergrass – Is a wildflower and herb that contains poisonous seeds.

Flax – Is a wildflower and herb whose seedpods contain poisons.

Foxglove – This is a wild and garden flower whose leaves are poisonous.

Holly – Is a shrub containing poisonous berries.

Horsechestnut – Is a tree containing poisonous nuts and sprouts.

Horse Nettle – Is a wildflower and herb poisonous in its entirety, especially the berries.

Hyacinth – This is a wild and houseplant whose bulbs are poisonous.

Iris – Is a wild and garden flower whose leaves and roots are poisonous.

Jack-in-the-Pulpit – Is a wildflower that is entirely poisonous, especially the leaves and roots.

Jatropha – This is a tree and shrub whose seeds are poisonous.

Jerusalem Cherry – Is an ornamental plant whose un-ripened fruit and foliage are poisonous.

Jimsonweed – Is a field plant that is entirely poisonous, especially the seeds.

Laburum – Is an ornamental plant whose seeds, pods and flowers can be poisonous.

Lantana – Is a houseplant whose foliage is poisonous.

Larkspur – Is a wildflower that is poisonous only as a young plant.

Laurels – This is a type of shrub with poisonous leaves.

Lupines – Is a shrub whose seeds and pods are poisonous.

Manchineel Tree – A tree containing poisonous sap and fruit.

Matrimony Vine – An ornamental vine containing poisonous leaves and shoots.

Mayapple – A wildflower poisonous in the form of its un-ripened fruit as well as the foliage and roots.

Milk Vetch – A wildflower poisonous in its entirety.

Mistletoe – A houseplant with poisonous berries.

Monkshood – A wildflower poisonous in its entirety, especially the roots and seeds.

Moodseed – A vine whose fruit and roots are poisonous.

Morning Glory – Is a wildflower containing poisonous seeds and roots.

Mountain Mahogany – Is a shrub with poisonous leaves.

Mustards – These are wildflowers whose seeds can be poisonous.

Narcissus – This is a garden flower whose bulbs contain poisons.

Nicotiana – Is a garden flower whose leaves are poisonous.

Nightshade – Is a wildflower and vine with poisonous leaves and berries.

Oaks – Are trees with poisonous leaves and shoots.

Philodendrons – Are houseplants poisonous in their entirety.

Pokeweed – Is a field plant containing poisonous roots, seeds and berries.

Poinsettia – Is a houseplant with poisonous leaves, flowers and stems.

Poison Hemlock – This is a field plant containing poisonous leaves, stems and fruit.

Potato – A garden plant whose shoots and sprouts can be poisonous.

Rattle Box – Is a wildflower that is entirely poisonous.

Rhododendron – Is an ornamental shrub whose leaves are poisonous.

Rhubarb – A garden plant with poisonous leaves.

Rosary Pea – Is a houseplant whose seeds are poisonous.

Skunk Cabbage – This is a marsh plant whose entire plant is poisonous but especially the roots and leaves.

Smart Weeds – Are wildflowers containing poisonous sap.

Snow-on-the-Mountain – This is a wildflower whose sap is poisonous.

Sorghum – Is a type of grass whose leaves are poisonous.

Star of Bethlehem – Is a wildflower poisonous in its entirety.

Velvet Grass – A variety of grass whose leaves are poisonous.

Wild Black Cherry – Is a tree with poisonous leaves and pits.

Wild Radish – A wildflower with poisonous seeds.

Wisteria – Is an ornamental plant containing poisonous seeds and pods.

Woody Aster – A wildflower whose entire plant is poisonous.

Yellow Jessamine – An ornamental vine that is entirely poisonous.

Yellow Pine Flax – A wildflower poisonous in its entirety but especially in the seedpods.

NOTE: If you suspect that your pet has been poisoned, contact the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435. This is 24 hour a day hotline. (Note that in some cases a consultation fee may be charged to your credit card.)

This list has been compiled using the following sources…

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Toronto Humane Society
St. John’s Poison Resource Center
Humane Society of the United States

The Dog Ownership Suitability Test

 This something I discovered on the UK parliment (goverment) site….It looks like something we should consider in the US before we are allowed to own nothing but Teacup Poodles and mini breeds (which are far more vicious than the currently banned breeds!! They are just to small to cause the same degree of damage)

Dog Ownership Suitability Test

Better for dogs – Better for people

The Proposal

This is the 2nd draft of the Dog Owner Suitability Test proposal.

Shortly, via the Pet Owner’s Parliament, we will begin a consultation process designed to refine and improve this proposal further.

The key features of this proposal have been arrived at over the course of more than two years of planning and research into the strengths and weaknesses of existing canine legislation, reviews of specific environmental and public safety cases involving dogs and general consultation with a wide variety of individuals and organisations involved with domestic dog issues.

Please note: This proposal can be commented on here but at this time this is NOT the public consultation stage. Official consultation on the proposal will take part in April and will run for 12 weeks. If you would like to comment on the proposal, offer feedback, support or opposition please feel free to do so here. If you would also like to consult on the draft officially, this will be available to members of Pet Owner’s Parliament which will be open for business and (free) membership to all British citizens above the age of 16 from April 1st 2008. Thank you.

The Dog Owner Suitability Test, hereto referred to as D.O.T is a proposal designed to achieve the following objectives: 

  • To place a far greater emphasis on the prevention of dog attacks, dog neglect and environmental nuisance
  • To improve the general level of canine awareness amongst all UK dog owners
  • To bring about radical change in the standards of those involved in the supply of dogs to the public
  • To ensure greater comprehension amongst all UK dog owners of the various laws affecting domestic dogs
  • To provide a workable alternative to the failed aspects of the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act
  • To place full legal accountability upon dog owners for the actions and welfare of their dogs
  • To repeal breed specific legislation which has failed to save human lives and is practically impossible to implement fairly

10 Point Plan for Achieving Stated Goals:

1) Lobby government to create and fund an executive agency of DEFRA which would deal with administrating the dog owner suitability test. For the purposes of this proposal we shall give this agency the working title of ‘Dog Owner Licencing Agency’. The responsibility of this agency would be as follows:

  • Dog and owner licensing database.
  • Issuing certification and processing applications to the Dog Ownership Suitability Test which would be run and administered in a style similar to the driving licence theory exam of the British Citizenship Test
  • Provide access to the central dog and owner licensing database to enable those involved in the supply of or control of dogs to verify if an individual has a valid dog ownership licence
  • Set the national fee for sitting the D.O.T

2) Develop a Canine Ownership Code. A curriculum similar to the highway code which will be the foundation of the D.O.T. The Canine Ownership Code will consist of questions based entirely on non subjective issues. Matters of fact will be tested which would include:

  • Questions relating to dog laws
  • Questions relating to canine health care issues as approved by British Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons most up to date guidance (to be regularly reviewed and updated)
  • Questions relating to canine behaviour. Questions must be a matter of broadly acknowledged fact and would not be subjective in nature.

Example of an acceptable canine behaviour question.

“A dog displaying an arched back, licking lips with a tail tucked between the legs is most likely to be: A) Showing signs of fear or nervousness. B) Showing signs of playful confidence. C) Showing signs of territorial aggression”

Example of an unacceptable canine behaviour question.

“What would be the correct way to train a dog who is fearful or nervous of people?”

  • Questions relating to particular dog breeds, their origins and lifestyle requirements
  • Questions relating to responsible management of dogs in relation to society and the environment
  • Questions relating to options and resources available to owners who may encounter problems with their dog at some point in the future such as: What to do if a dog becomes ill or injured. What to do if a dog has started to show signs of aggression (in terms of contacting professional advisors, not generic behaviour advice). What to do if a dog goes missing. What to do if lifestyle circumstances change significantly.

3) Introduce a Supplier Level Dog Ownership Licence which would be required for any person, group or organisation if they intend to transfer ownership of a dog in exchange for money. The Supplier Level Dog Ownership Licence would be subject to an ‘advanced’ version of the D.O.T and would include questions relating to the responsible supply of dogs to the public. It would be a legal requirement that no dog be sold, given away or transfered by any one person, business or group to any person who is not able to prove they have passed the D.O.T and holds a valid dog ownership licence. The punishment for a person, group or organisation found guilty of supplying a dog to a person who does not have a valid ownership licence will be an instant revocation of their Supplier Level Dog Ownership Licence plus a significant fine and a ban from being permitted to sell or transfer ownership of any dog under penalty of a further fine. Repeated offences of selling or transfering dogs from a person not in possession of a valid Supplier Level Dog Ownership Licence would entitle a court to hand down a custodial term to the offender. This part of the proposal is absolutely crucial in forcing up standards for the responsible supply of dogs.

4) To repeal the breed specific legislation section of the dangerous dogs act and replace them with meaures as proposed by the National Dog Warden’s Association, a group who were not consulted or involved in the drafting of the current dangerous dogs act despite the fact they are the organisation who have the most practical experience dealing with dog control and who are most acutely aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the dangerous dogs laws and other legislation affecting dogs impact on the environment.

5) Unless it is absolutely neccessary in a case of an immediate threat to public safety, dogs that have been involved in a suspected attack should not be destroyed until they have been independently assessed by a competent dog behaviour expert. It is not possible to learn or establish the cause, motive or stimulus for a dog attack if the animal is summarily destroyed before an assessment is carried out. This does not mean the animal should not be destroyed at a later date but all serious dog attacks where a dog is to be euthanised should be accompanied by a behaviour report and case account which is made publicly available in order to assist the public with learning about the circumstances that can lead up to a dog attack.

6) All dogs to be covered by compulsory 3rd party insurance.

7) To increase maximum prison sentence and limits of fines available to hand down in cases of serious animal abuse or neglect.

8 ) To require all dog owners to sign and agree to a Responsible Dog Ownership Charter upon passing the D.O.T. The charter will be an agreement from the dog owner that they will provide the minimum level of care for their dog as detailed by the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and that they will endeavor to care for any dog(s) in their ownership for the lifetime of the dog. In the event that a dog may need to be re-homed, euthanised or treated for accident or illness the charter would require the dog owner to minimum level of appropriate action under their duty of care to the dog.

9) To make it an offence for a person who has been convicted of selling or transferring a dog to a person, group or organisation not in possession of a valid ownership licence to advertise for sale or transfer any dog in the UK.

10) To make it an offence for any UK based publication, website or business to knowingly accept advertising – paid or otherwise – from a person not in possession of a valid Supplier Level Dog Ownership Licence. It will be possible to check on the validity of a person’s Supplier Level Dog Ownership Licence via the Dog Owner Licencing Agency.

How will the test be implemented?Have your say, ask your questions about the Dog Owner Suitability Test here  

Useful Resources

Dog electrocuted on Long Island City street

Dog electrocuted on Long Island City street

A woman is mourning after her dog was killed by a stray jolt of electricity from a light pole in Queens.

Celia Sing says she was taking her 7-year-old Siberian husky, Sebastian, for a walk on Sunday near her apartment in Long Island City when he stopped at the pole.

Sing says her dog fell to the ground and began shaking uncontrollably before dying right in front of her eyes.

Because of the holiday weekend, Sing said she was unable to get answers from the Department of Transportation.

The light pole was replaced on Monday.

Department spokesman Seth Solomonow says engineers have made the area safe, but the cause of the stray voltage has not yet been determined.

He adds: “Safety is our top priority on the streets of New York.”

Drug bust dog gone wrong

Drug bust dog gone wrong

  • Hong Kong
  • May 29, 2008

JAPAN’S customs authority has said sorry for planting cannabis on an incoming Hong Kong passenger to test out one of its sniffer dogs.

Embarrassed officials had to issue a public appeal to the passenger to return the 142 grams of cannabis after the dog failed to detect it and the customs officer forgot in which bag he planted the drugs.

The incident on Sunday, involving a passenger on a Cathay Pacific flight into Tokyo, brought an outcry from the Hong Kong Government and tourism officials. The drugs — worth almost $US10,000 ($A10,440) — were recovered on Monday evening from the passenger in a Tokyo hotel. It is not known if the passenger was traced or alerted officials.

A customs spokesman told the South China Morning Post the department offered “our deepest apologies”.


May is Pet Cancer Awareness Month

May is Pet Cancer Awareness Month

The Columbus (OH) Dispatch featured a “First Person” article by a Marie Long (Sat. May 24, 2008). In the article Ms. Long wrote about going to a garage sale three years ago and finding a blue-eyed dog in the front yard. It’s owner was moving the next day, to live with a relative (due to illness) and a home had to be found. Returning later and still finding the dog there, Ms. Long adopted her. The dog, Skye, was taken to a vet to be spayed* and the doctor “discovered a mass during the examination.” Skye had a partial mastectomy.

Even though I have just published a book on breast cancer, written by nurse and cancer survivor Alice Krumm (entitled “I didn’t ask for this pink ribbon”), and even though I did a lot of reading and research for “Open Your Heart with Pets”, the book… I didn’t know that dogs could get breast cancer. Or, I hadn’t really been aware of it or thought about it. According to I’m not alone. Eighty percent of pet parents know little or nothing about pet cancer.
Yet canine and feline cancer is the #1 health problem for pets, and, just like in humans, cancer can occur in any part of a dog’s body. An estimated 40% of dogs die of cancer (source Veterinary Cancer Society).

The website also offers a “Tell Your Story” webpage, similar to the Rainbow Bridge, where you can post a photo of your pet and write about their cancer story. You can read the story of “Blue” the inspiration behind the founding of The Blue Buffalo Foundation for Cancer Research, which maintains the website.

The Veterinary Cancer Society** notes the following warning signs:

Abnormal swelling that persists
Sores that do not heal
Loss of weight
Loss of appetite
Bleeding or discharge from any body opening
Offensive odor
Difficulty eating or swallowing
Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina
Persistent lameness or stiffness
Difficulty breathing, urinating or defecating

If your pet has any of these early warning signs, visit your veterinarian as soon as possible for a complete examination.

The Vet Cancer Registry has a helpful list of organizations and veterinaries specializing in animal cancer.

The American Veterinary Medical Association offers a brochure “What Your Should Know about Cancer in Animals.”

More information on cancer in dogs and cats, along with helpful photographs, can be found at this link.
*The AVMA states “Spaying your female pet between 6 and 12 months of age will greatly reduce the risk of breast cancer.”

**Of interest to Seattle readers: “The doctors and staff of Animal Cancer Specialists in Seattle, Washington are honored to be hosting the Veterinary Cancer Society’s 28th Annual Conference, ‘Reigning in Education.’ “October 18-21st, 2008.

Posted by Janice Williams Janice Williams at May 28, 2008 7:31 a.m.
Categories: ,