Ho Ho Ho to Oh No!

The holiday season is here, and so are the beautiful holiday decorations.  Pet owners need to be aware of some of the typical plants that can cause problems if your pet is into eating or chewing on the festive displays. 


Although they may look good, these plants can cause serious distress, and in the worst case scenarios – a trip to the veterinarian and even death.  These are the common plants and some of the problems your pet could experience: 


Poinsettia Plant

•  Amaryllis 

This beautiful flower can cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression, lack of appetite, tremors, drooling and abdominal pain.


•  Christmas Cactus   For dogs, large quantities can bring on vomiting, possibly with blood, diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, and mental depression.  Small ingestions are typically less harmful as these are lower toxicity plants.   


•  Holly  Commonly found in wreaths, table runners, and garnishes for floral decoration.  Holly can cause intense vomiting and diarrhea.  Your pet may also display mental depression.


•  Mistletoe   Although kissing is associated with this plant it can cause significant vomiting and diarrhea.  This plant has also been associated with difficulty breathing, decreased heart rate, collapse and, if ingested in large amounts death has occurred.  In some animals it may cause erratic behavior and hallucinations.


•  Poinsettia (Poinsetta)  Ingesting this plant can cause irritation to the mouth and stomach and at times vomiting. Many people consider it to be non-toxic, but it can cause problems. 


Keep your pets healthy this year by keeping these plants and live decorations out of reach and inaccessible.  Don’t take a chance with the animal members of your family when it comes to holiday safety!


Happy Holidays from the Association of Professional Animal Waste Specialists

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