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Poison Awareness: Spring bulb plants

Although it doesn’t feel like it, spring is coming. With springtime comes gardening and thawing of the frozen ground to reveal your spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils, tulips and hyacinths. Though these flowers are beautiful in your yard, they can be toxic to your pets if they ingest them. The toxic principle of these plants is very concentrated in the bulbs (versus the leaf or flower), and when ingested in large amounts, can result in severe clinical signs. Ingestion of the bulb, plant or flower can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and even possible cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heart rhythms) or respiratory depression. Severe poisoning from hyacinth or tulip poisoning is often seen when dogs dig up freshly planted bulbs or having access to a large bag of them. When the plant parts or bulbs are chewed or ingested, it can result in tissue irritation to the mouth and esophagus.

springbulbsPoisonous to: Cats, Dogs
Level of toxicity: Generally mild to moderate
Common signs to watch for:

  • Drooling
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased respiratory rate
  • Difficulty breathing

Information courtesy of the Pet Poison Helpline.

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