Plants that are toxic to your Brittanys and other pets

Since we know how much our Brittanys love to dig, investigate, and get into stuff it’s important to know which plants are poisonous to pets. Many plants that are harmless to humans are actually deadly for our furry friends. Remember – fresh dirt is one your Brittanys favorite things to investigate.

Here in Texas, these outdoor plans are very toxic:

  1.  Sago Palm: All parts of the sago palm plant are considered toxic to both dogs and cats. Sago palm toxicosis results in vomiting, diarrhea, liver failure and possibly death. Aggressive supportive care is required. Check out this video, for more information on Sago Palm toxicity.
  2. Oleander: Oleander leave ingestion can result in severe side effects to the heart results in a very low heart rate, weakness, and with significant ingestion can be fatal. Intestinal decontamination and supportive care is recommended.
  3. Texas Mountain Laurel: This beautiful flowering plant can be quite toxic to both dogs and cats. The toxin associated with this plan results in abnormal functioning of muscles and nerves. Common symptoms include lethargy, drooling, uncoordinated walking, and a decreased heart rate. Symptoms can be progressive and severe therefore supportive care is required.
  4. Caladium: The caladium plant is with heart shaped leaves that look like wings. In fact, some call this plant angel wings or heart of Jesus. This plant can be very toxic to your dog. In fact, it can even be fatal if not treated right away.
  5. Sweet Broom: This plant contains small amounts of a toxin called quinolizidine alkaloids. This is found in all parts of the plant. Ingestion results in vomiting, abdominal discomfort, weakness, incoordination and possible increased heart rate.
  6. Morning Glory:  The particular species of the morning glory referred to as Ipomoea violacea and Ipomoea carnea are quite poisonous to dogs. When large quantities of seeds are eaten by dogs, it is the many lysergic alkaloids that cause distress.
  7. Begonias: This popular and versatile summer plant, will cause intense burning and irritation in the mouth if eaten by dogs or cats. Ingestion will also cause excessive drooling, vomiting and possibly make your pet have difficulty swallowing.
  8. Lantana: also called Red sage, Wild sage, Yellow Sage, and Shrub Verbena. Triterpenoids (liver toxins) are found in all parts of the plant. Symptoms include depression, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and possible liver failure (which occur more commonly with farm animals).
  9. Passion Flower: Passion vines are toxic to pets. They contain substances that create cyanide when broken down by the body. All parts of the passion vine plant toxic except for mature fruits.
  10. Mandevilla: might cause mild indigestion, especially in pets with sensitive stomachs.
  11. Dahlia: There is a toxic substance in the dahlia that causes skin irritation and gastrointestinal upset to dogs

Also look out for these common plant varieties that can be dangerous for dogs, cats, and/or horses. Do your best to keep these hazards far from your critters!

  • Aloe (dogs, cats)
  • Baby’s Breath (dogs, cats)
  • Buttercup (dogs, cats, horses)
  • Chamomile (dogs, cats, horses)
  • Chrysanthemum (dogs, cats, horses)
  • Hibiscus (dogs, cats, horses)
  • Holly (dogs, cats, horses)
  • Iris (dogs, cats)
  • Lilies (all types for cats, some types for dogs).
  • Loco Weed (horses)
  • Poinsettia (dogs, cats)
  • Red Maple (horses)
  • Sweet Pea (dogs, cats, horses)

This is by no means an exhaustive list. Do your research (on the internet or by calling your vet) before bringing a new plant into your home or yard. 

The following are all common symptoms of acute poisoning in animals:

  • Coughing, wheezing or difficulty breathing.
  • Lethargy and weakness.
  • Vomiting and diarrhea, which may or may not be bloody.
  • Shivering and muscle spasms.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Drooling or tongue lolling.
  • Skin irritation.
  • Loss of coordination.

Seconds count in a poisoning emergency, so if you have reason to believe that your Brittany has been exposed to a toxic substance, seek medical attention for them immediately. Call a veterinarian and describe your pet’s symptoms; the vet can tell you whether or not you should bring your pet to the clinic for treatment. If you have a sample of the substance you think may have poisoned your pet, bring it with you to the vet’s office, as well.