Dr Matthew Almond
BVSc MACVSc (Small Animal Medicine)
Consultations by Appointment
02 6262 2233
9 Carstairs Circuit Amaroo ACT 2914
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-6:30pm Sat 8:30am-1pm

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Poisonous Plants and Vegetables

Plants in your backyard and inside your home provide a great environment in which to live for humans and our small friends. The unfortunate truth is that the vast majority of our garden plants are potentially dangerous to our pets. Even some of our familiar vegetables can be harmful to dogs and cats. Below is a list of the most commonly encountered poisonous plants and vegetables – it is not exhaustive. If you have any queries about whether a particular plant or vegetable is poisonous to your small friend, please call Small Friends Veterinary Hospital on 6262 2233.

Bulb Plants
Hyacinth
Crocuses
Daffodils
Tulips
Iris
Gladiolas
Narcissus
Lilies

Cycad Species Palms
Sago palm
Japanese palm

Ferns
Angel’s fern
Asparagus fern
Emerald fern
Bracken fern

Popular Flowering Plants
Cyclamen
Hydrangea
Foxgloves
Morning glory
Sweet pea
Yesterday, today and tomorrow
Lantana
Ranunculus
Angel’s trumpet
Buttercup
Chrysanthemum
Geraniums
Primrose
Clematis
Nightshade
Chamomile
Geranium

Trees and Shrubs
All stone fruit trees:  apricot, peach, nectarine, plum, cherry
Citrus trees (grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange)
Macadamia nut tree
Avocado tree
Oleander
Rhododendron
Azalea
Daphne
Jasmine
Gardenia
Wisteria
Yew
Oak
White Cedar

Other Common Plants
Aloe vera 
Ivies
Dumbcane
Poinsettia
Wandering Jew
Mistletoe
Castor bean
Yucca

Fruits and Vegetables
Onion
Tomato plants (leaves and stems)
Green potatoes
Grapes and raisins
Pips of stone fruits (apples, apricot, peach, plums, cherry)
Avocado
Rhubarb
Alfalfa
Mushrooms

What are some signs that my small friend has eaten something poisonous or harmful?
Some common signs of toxicity are: vomiting, diarrhoea, dribbling saliva/frothing at the mouth, being quieter than normal, shaking, paddling, being disoriented and wobbly when walking, inappetance and collapse.  As you can appreciate, these are a wide range of signs and are not specific to poisoning. If you notice any of these signs in your small friend please call Small Friends Veterinary Hospital on 6262 2233 to arrange for them to be checked by our vet as soon as possible.

What should I do if I suspect my small friend has eaten something harmful?
Please bring your small friend in to be seen by our vet immediately. Generally, the earlier a toxicosis is treated, the better the outcome. Also if possible, please bring a sample of the substance your small friend was chewing on (or the packaging) so a positive identification could be made.

Are there specific antidotes for poisonous foods?
Unfortunately, there are no antidotes for plant/vegetable poisonings. If a harmful material is ingested your small friend may be made to vomit up what he/she has eaten before the majority of the poison gets absorbed into the system. Other treatments for toxicity are largely supportive and may include fluid therapy, medication to protect the lining of the stomach and intestines, and hospitalisation and careful observation.

What can I do to prevent my small friend from chewing on my garden plants?
The hard answer is that it’s probably not possible to have a lush, magazine perfect garden which is equally friendly to our pets. So sorry gardeners - certain sacrifices need to be made when you have a small friend and a garden!

Most of our small friends do have enough common sense to leave most of our plants alone. For our ‘problem children’ who insist on tasting parts of our garden, you may need to fence off these plants to make them strictly off-limits. If fencing is not a practical option or if your small friend finds the fences no barrier to them and their culinary fancies, you are better off removing the poisonous plants altogether. While it may be heartbreaking to remove your favourite ornamental plants, it would be much worse to lose a small friend who took a fancy to chewing on that plant. 

This page is dedicated to Chloe May and her family: Carolyn, Sarge, Angus, Winnie, Harry, Bella and Brazil. It is Chloe and her wonderful family who gave us the idea about our poisonous plants and vegetables page. Thank you very much for your suggestion and concern for our fellow pet owners and their small friends!

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