GREAT FALLS — March 20th marks the first day of Spring, bringing a return of warmer weather and plenty of flowers in bloom - but some of those beautiful Spring flowers are poisonous and potentially deadly to pets.
Lilies, daffodils, azaleas, and tulips are just a few of the common flowers that can be lethal to cats. Click here for a list of plants that can be toxic to dogs, cats, and horses. Ingestion of as little as two leaves or part of a single flower requires emergency treatment within 18 hours.
“A lot of people wait because they are concerned about the cost and yeah, the cost is a thing. Poisonings can range in cost anywhere from $300 to thousands of dollars in some of the severe cases. So it’s really important that you know ahead of time what is toxic, what are the signs, what to do, and to have a financial safety net,” explained veterinarian Sarah Wooten.
If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, first call your vet. If they are unavailable call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.
According to Dr. Wooten, knowing the symptoms of poisoning can save your pet. She explained, “Different types of plants have different types of symptoms if they are ingested. One of the most common poisonings we see in the Spring are lilies in cats, which cause kidney failure. The main signs of that are drinking a lot, peeing a lot, refusing to eat, and weakness, because it’s a very severe version. Other plants like daffodils or tulips or azaleas or any of those guys, usually they cause vomiting, diahrrea, and drooling. Those are the main signs that we see for those guys.”
To prevent your feline from flower poisoning, Dr. Wooten says to check your outdoor surroundings for natural plant growth and skip the store-bought flowers.