Common Poisonous Plants

Here is a list of the 10 most common plants that can cause toxicity in your pet, according to the ASPCA, as well as each plant’s possible effects on the body.

  1. Marijuana: Depression of the central nervous system and incoordination (loss of muscle control), diarrhea, vomiting, drooling, increased heart rate, seizures, and coma.
  2. Sago Palm: Vomiting, diarrhea, depression, seizures, and liver failure. (The seeds contain the largest amount of the toxin, although all parts are poisonous.)
  3. Lilies: Severe kidney damage.
  4. Tulip/narcissus bulbs: Intense gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions, and cardiac abnormalities.
  5. Azalea/rhododendron: Vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, weakness, and depression of the central nervous system. Severe poisoning can lead to coma and death from cardiovascular collapse.
  6. Oleander: Gastrointestinal tract irritation, abnormal heart function, hypothermia, and death.
  7. Castor bean: Severe abdominal pain, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, weakness and loss of appetite. Severe cases can result in dehydration, muscle twitching, tremors, seizures, coma, and death.
  8. Cyclamen: Gastrointestinal irritation, intense vomiting, and even death.
  9. Kalanchoe: Gastrointestinal irritation and heart arrhythmias.
  10. Yew: Trembling, incoordination (loss of muscle control), difficulty breathing, gastrointestinal irritation, and cardiac failure.

While the above are the 10 most common, it is by no means a comprehensive list of all the plants that can be dangerous. What follows is a list of common bulbous flowering plants that are found in many of our gardens.

Scientific Name

Common Name

Arisaema triphyllum

Jack-in-the-pulpit

Colchicum autumnale

Autumn crocus, meadow saffron

Convallaria majalis

Lily of the Valley

Crocus species

Crocus, saffron

Cyclamen species

Cyclamen

Galanthus nivalis

Snowdrop

Gladiolus species

Gladiola

Gloriosa superba

Glory lily

Hyacinthus species

Hyacinth

Iris species

Iris

Muscari armeniacum

Grape hyacinth

Narcissus species

Daffodil, jonquil, narcissus

Tulipa species

Tulip

And don’t forget the plants that we use in our kitchens for cooking: they too can cause adverse effects:

  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Garlic
  • Chives
  • Grapes
  • Raisins

If you suspect your pet has consumed or chewed on any of the above plants, call your veterinarian immediately.

The following sites have a more comprehensive list of plants and their effects, and/or a photo library:

Compiled by Dr. Kathy Kallay


LINKS USED IN THIS PAGE

http://www.aspca.org/

http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants/

http://www.aspca.org/toxicplants/M01947.htm

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=191&S=1&SourceID=6