Tips on Avoiding Plant Toxicity

The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) announced that they managed more than 116,000 calls to its Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) hotline in 2006, several of which pertained to common household items.

The number of cases involving plants also shot up by more than 111 percent in 2006 to more than 9,300. Some varieties that can be harmful to pets include lilies, azalea, rhododendron, sago palm, kalanchoe and schefflera. "Just one or two sago palm nuts can cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression, seizures and even liver failure," says Dr. Hansen. "Also, lilies are highly toxic to cats-even in small amounts they can produce life-threatening kidney failure."

While poisonous plants should certainly be kept away from pets, it is also a good idea to discourage animals from nibbling on any variety of plant, as even non-toxic plants can lead to minor stomach upset.

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