Pretty Flowers – Watchout!

The mild winter and early spring can also bring on early problems for our pets. The early blooms make pollen counts soar, allergies start earlier than usual, and pets have access to bulbs, flowers mulch and fertilizers earlier. Many of these items are toxic to our pets and the ASPCA just sent out a notice to warn us. It is best to keep all pets away from all fertilizers and mulch unless the labels state “Pet Friendly”. Specifically stay away from any shrub or flower care product that has Disulfoton as an ingredient. It is a highly toxic organophosphate insecticide. Spring bulbs are beautiful, but many are toxic. Tulips, snowdrops, crocus, hyacinth and jack-in-the-pulpit have all been reported as very toxic. Other common flowers such as gladiola, daffodil, jonquil, iris, narcissus, and lily are also considered toxic. One of the most toxic flowers is the Lilly of the Valley. It can cause intestinal bleeding, cardiac irregularities, seizures and even death. Other spring flowers that are of concern specifically for cats are the Easter lily, Japanese lily, oriental lily, tiger lily, stargazer lily and day lily. Even the pollen of these lilies can cause severe kidney disease. Even Buttercup is toxic. These bulbs and flowers listed above are the most toxic ones and not only can cause burning of the mouth, lips and gums, but can cause internal bleeding, kidney and liver disease and some also can be fatal. They are all beautiful and colorful but check their level of toxicity if you have a dog or cat that might eat them or even play in them. The pollens can be dangerous too. The following are considered to be of low toxicity and cause mild G-I upsets: Snowflake, Bleeding Heart, Mayapple and English or Spanish Bluebell. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center can be reached at 888-426-4435 24 hours a day.