As the weather begins to mellow we start to see spring flowers appearing and are tempted back into our gardens to plant new bulbs. It's important to know which bulbs and plants are toxic to our pets.
Tulips, Hyacinths and Irises are all considered toxic to both dogs and cats, and can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and drooling if ingested. All parts of the plants contain toxins and can cause issues for your pets, but the toxins are most concentrated in the bulbs of the plant—making the bulb the most dangerous part. Depending on how much your pet ingests, and which parts of the plant are ingested, significant vomiting or diarrhoea may occur which can lead to more serious concerns such as dehydration, lethargy and abdominal pain.
The first thing to know about the Crocus plant is that there are two different types: one that blooms in the spring (Crocus sp.) and one that blooms in the fall (Colchicum autumnale). Crocus sp. may cause gastrointestinal upset when any part of the plant is ingested. Symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea and drooling. On the other hand, Colchicum autumnale can be much more serious and may cause severe vomiting, diarrhoea (possibly with blood), liver and kidney damage, and possibly bone marrow damage, which could then lead to a decrease in white and red blood cells, as well as platelets.
Daffodils, like the other spring bulbs, can also cause gastrointestinal upset leading to vomiting, diarrhea and drooling. Similar to the Tulip, Hyacinth and Iris, Daffodil bulbs also contain the highest concentration of toxins. Unlike the other bulbs, however, daffodils may cause depression, low blood pressure or even seizures when ingested in large amounts.
While you’re on alert for bulb poisoning, don’t forget about other common garden dangers. While fertilizer is wonderful for your plants, it can be extremely appealing (and potentially dangerous) to curious dogs. When ingested, fertilizers can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and, in some cases, weakness or stiffness in your pets’ hind legs.