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There are a number of succulents that are poisonous to dogs and cats
Most people know that dogs are notorious for eating plants. But did you know that some types of succulents can kill pets? Succulents are popular houseplants because they require little water and don’t need much sunlight. They’re easy to grow, too, requiring very little care. However, there are certain varieties of succulents that are poisonous to both cats and dogs. Here are five kinds of succulents that could potentially harm your pet.
1. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is one of the most common types of houseplants anywhere in the world. It’s often used to treat burns and sunburns. Unfortunately, aloe vera contains a sap that can cause skin irritation and even death in animals. In addition, pets that eat it can develop diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
Agaves come in many different shapes and sizes. Some agaves can grow up to 30 feet tall, while others are just 3 inches tall. Most agaves contain sap that can irritate the mouth and digestive tract of animals. Pets that ingest agave can suffer stomach pains, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Amaryllises are beautiful flowers that are commonly grown indoors. While they’re safe to consume for humans, they can pose serious health risks to pets. When eaten, amaryllis bulbs can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in animals.
Azaleas are flowering plants with bright red, pink, yellow, white, or purple blooms. These flowers have been known to cause gastrointestinal problems in pets. If ingested by an animal, azaleas can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and other symptoms.
Bamboos are a type of grass-like plant that grows in tropical climates. The leaves and stems of bamboo are toxic if consumed by animals. If eaten, bamboo can cause severe stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea for pets.
It is widely known that aloe vera is one of the most commonly grown succulents, and it is often seen growing in gardens across North America. This easy-to-grow succulent is native to Africa and Asia and is widely cultivated in tropical climates worldwide.
This perennial herb produces thick leaves that grow up to 10 inches long and about 2 inches wide. The leaves contain gel-like sap that contains several nutrients and minerals. In addition to being valid for skin care products, aloe vera juice can be applied externally to help heal wounds, burns, cuts, scrapes, and insect bites.
However, some people report that ingesting aloe vera causes stomach upset. Therefore, you must contact a veterinarian as soon as possible if you suspect your dog or cat has ingested aloe vera. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and depression.
A popular houseplant, kalanchoe is native to South America and grows well indoors. Its leaves grow up to three feet long, producing clusters of tiny white flowers. Kalanchoe plants thrive in bright light, and like most succulents, they require little water. They’re easy to grow, too: just add some gravel to a pot filled with soil, place the plant inside, and wait for the roots to take hold.
Like all succulents, kalanchoes produce a sticky substance called latex when cut or broken. This sap has caused dogs to experience painful blisters on their lips and tongues after licking at the plant. If your pet licks at this plant, wash their mouth with soap and water.
If your dog or cat eats any part of this plant, they may experience abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and even seizures. Call your veterinarian right away if these symptoms occur.
Lilacs are fragrant flowers that bloom from spring until fall. Although lilacs are not poisonous, they contain cyanide, which can be fatal to cats and dogs. Contact your vet immediately if your pet consumes any part of a lilac plant.
Lilies are a common flower found throughout the United States. Most lily varieties are edible for humans but can also be dangerous for pets. Lilies can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and liver damage in animals when eaten.
The euphorbia genus contains about 300 species of flowering plants. Most members of this genus are small, drought tolerant, evergreen shrubs or subshrubs native to Africa, Asia, Australia, Central America, South America, and tropical regions of North America. Some euphorbias are known for their showy flowers and attractive foliage.
There are a number of succulent plants in the Euphorbia genus, such as euphoria, which include some of the most toxic plants. While many euphorbias are easily recognizable due to their distinctive leaves and stems, others look similar to popular houseplants like aloes and begonias. Unfortunately, these similarities make it easy for unsuspecting gardeners to purchase and grow one of these deadly plants accidentally.
Poisonous Plants in the euphorbia family are often called “crown of thorns,” although there are several different types of thorns. Crown of thorns can cause severe damage to animals, especially those with sensitive stomachs. Poisoned animals typically experience vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, paralysis, and death within 24 hours. Ingestion of even small amounts of poison can also lead to serious health problems in humans.
You must contact your veterinarian to determine whether there is any reason whatsoever that your cat or dog might have eaten a euphorbia. Then, they can administer antidotes to reverse the effects of the toxin.
Like aloe vera, the popular houseplant known as jade is a common plant you might find growing on your window sill. But there are several types of jades, and while most people know about the green variety, it’s essential to remember that some varieties are toxic.
While jade is generally safe for humans to ingest, it can cause serious health problems in dogs and cats. Signs of ingestion include vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, paralysis, and even death.
Protecting Your Pets From Toxic Plants
As a result of the proliferation of succulent varieties and the increasing availability of exotic pet plants, the best way for pet owners to protect their furry friends is to identify which plants are poisonous not only to dogs, cats, and reptiles, amphibians, fish but also to invertebrates. But what about those plants that aren’t necessarily dangerous, just annoying? For example, some people enjoy growing houseplants, while others find them invasive pests. And depending on the type of animal, certain plants might pose a threat to their health. Here’s how to tell whether or not a particular plant is harmful to your pets.
Pet Poison Helpline
In the United States, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA’s) Poison Control Center receives approximately 20,000 calls per year regarding animals poisoned by household products. The center recommends that people keep poisonous substances away from pets and use caution around children. To learn more about poison prevention, call the Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680.
Poisonous Plant Database
Suppose you’re looking for information about specific plants. In that case, the ASPCA’s Poisonous Plant Database provides detailed descriptions of over 2,500 species, including familiar names, botanical names, growth habits, habitat, symptoms of poisoning, treatment options, and precautions to take when handling the plant. You can access the database online here.
It is essential to know that to find out which plants are most likely to be potentially hazardous to your pets. The Pet Poison Helpline writes a “toxicity list” based on scientific research. This list includes both plants that are known to be toxic to pets and those that are considered potentially harmful. In addition to listing plants that are toxic to pets, the Pet Poison Helpline also lists plants deemed mildly toxic, moderately toxic, and highly toxic.
Plant Toxicity Chart
The chart below shows the toxicity level of various plants according to the Pet Poison Helpline toxicity list. The problem is that, to understand better how this chart works, we need to point out that it does not indicate the degree of danger posed by each plant; instead, it simply shows the relative risk of harm.
Danger Level | Description
Mildly Toxic | A small amount may cause mild gastrointestinal upset, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Symptoms usually resolve within 24 hours.
A moderate amount may cause severe gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Symptoms usually last longer than 24 hours.
A large amount may cause kidney failure, liver damage, respiratory distress, seizures, coma, and death.
Source: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Protecting Your Pets From Toxic Plants
With thousands of varieties of succulents, it is essential to note the increased availability of exotic species. The best way to keep your pet safe is to know what types of plants are poisonous to dogs and what types of plants are toxic to cats.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) offers a comprehensive list of toxic plants on its website. You can also find out about the toxicity of specific plants by searching “poisonous plants” online.
If you already have plants in the house and garden, check the ASPCA’s database and the Pet Poison Helplines’ toxicity list to ensure that no plants threaten your furry friends. Remember, just because a specific type of plant isn’t listed doesn’t mean it won’t harm your pet. Any plant can cause gastrointestinal upset if ingested; some plants can even contain chemicals or pesticides in their foliage, making them dangerous.
Even non-toxic plants, such as geraniums, can cause problems for animals with sensitive stomachs. So be aware of any plants that might cause trouble for your pet.