Spotlight on Home Toxins & Poisonous Plants

With coronavirus and its rapid spread dominating the headlines, we wanted you to know that the Animal Hospital of Sandy Springs team is taking precautions and working hard to ensure the safety of you, your pets, and our staff. At the same time, it’s worth remembering that the world contains other dangers, particularly for our animal companions. Did you know that many of the plants and products we surround ourselves with every day have the potential to kill our pets?

Let’s begin with plants. Common staples of suburban landscaping like lily of the valley, oleander, rhododendron, azalea, foxglove, yew, holly, crocus, tulip (the bulbs, in particular), and delphinium are all poisonous to pets and can cause varying levels of damage to their health. Particularly toxic to cats are lilies. It only takes eating a couple leaves or petals of a lily to send a cat into kidney failure.

If a cat ingests part of a lily plant, you might see excessive drooling and vomiting, as well as increased urination and dehydration. Even exposure to a lily’s pollen is enough to cause kidney damage in felines. In the event of lily poisoning, quick action is absolutely essential to prevent irreversible damage and even death. A cat needs treatment within 18 hours of lily poisoning to increase the chances of a positive outcome.

Plants aren’t the only culprits behind pet poisoning events. Common household items pose dangers as well. Since pets are naturally curious, it is extremely important to keep certain things away from paws’ reach. We encourage you to pay attention to:

Living rooms. Poisonous things in these areas include fragrance products, batteries, bags/purses (which can contain many toxic items), and more.

Kitchens. There are many human foods that are poisonous to pets and should be kept away from them. Garbage cans should also be kept pet-proof, and alcoholic beverages need to be stored away from curious snouts.

Bathrooms. All medications need to be stored away in cupboards and not on countertops. Bathroom cleaning products should also be tucked away, and always remember to close toilet lids.

Garages. Ethylene glycol (antifreeze) products have a sweet taste that pets may enjoy. However, these items are extremely toxic and should be hidden from your animal companions. Other car products like cleaners and fluids also need to be properly stored.

Outdoor areas. Keep fertilizers sealed and out of reach. Grub or snail killers can also be harmful to pets, as well as insecticides and sprayed herbicides.

If you believe your pet has ingested anything toxic, contact us immediately at 404-255-8522. If the poison is a common household product, please be ready with the label. And stay safe out there!


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