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Pets and Poisonous Plants

Did you know some plants commonly found in our gardens and neighbourhood are poisonous to pets? That’s why leading veterinary charity, PDSA, is warning owners that nibbling the wrong type of autumn leaves, seed cases and fruits may cause pet serious harm.

PDSA Senior Veterinary Surgeon, Sean Wensley, comments: “Most pets, particularly dogs and cats, are eager to explore new things when out and about.  That’s perfectly natural, though its important to know that eating certain plants can cause sickness.  If consumed in large amounts, some can even be fatal,”

Sean continues: “If you are concerned about the plants and trees in your garden, it is best to prune them and limit your pet’s access to affected areas.  Where you have falling leaves, seeds and fruits it is wise to rake and clear the area regularly.

“If you believe your dog is suffering from any type of poisoning, you should contact your veterinary practice immediately.”

Pet owners are urged to be wary of the following:

Acorns are poisonous for pets.  They fall in the Autumn and can easily be eaten.  The most dangerous acorns are unripe, green ones, particularly from younger oak trees.   The signs of acorn poisoning can include:
constipation followed by diarrhoea
urinary (wee) problems
swelling of the legs

Horse chestnuts (conkers) ripen and fall from trees in October.  Their poison is found in the bark, leaves and flowers.  Conkers are less poisonous than acorns, but if consumed in large amounts can still cause fatalities.  Signs of poisoning usually appear within one to six hours.  They include:
·         vomiting and diarrhoea
·         abdominal pain
·         excessive drinking
·         excess saliva
·         lack of appetite
·         paralysis
·         difficulty breathing

Yew trees, which are commonly found in churchyards and hedges, are extremely toxic to pets.  Every part of the tress is poisonous – eating just a handful of the leaves can be fatal to a dog!  Signs of poisoning are usually seen within two hours and can include sickness, diarrhoea, and excessive salivation.  In some cases, the eyes may have dilated (large) pupils, pets may also tremble and convulse, and experience breathing problems.

For further information about poisonous plants download PDSA’s free responsible pet care leaflet, A Safer Garden, from

Read our weekly animal health and pet advice column at or

Source by diane walker

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