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Pet Alert: Toxic Holiday Decorations

XmasKittyWith the winter festivities just around the corner, we can’t help but get into the holiday spirit by decorating our homes with lights, presents, and a number of plants that bring in good cheer. From Christmas trees to mistletoe to poinsettias, despite the magic these decorations can bring, it’s not very magical when your pet decides to immerse themselves by consuming any holiday greenery.

Many of these plants range from mildly to severely toxic for our furry friends, so it’s a good idea to know what is safe, where to place them, and how consumption may effect your pet.

“In general gastrointestinal upset is the most common finding but if enough plant material is ingested, seizures, coma, or death is possible,” reports Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM on About.com.

Holiday Plants Affects
Poinsettia Plant There have been talks that these red beauties are extremely toxic, however this assumption has been dubbed an urban legend dating back to 1919. The sap of Poinsettias are known to be mildly toxic and irritating, causing nausea or vomiting when consumed but it does not cause death.  So it would still be a good idea to keep your curious four-legged friends away from these holiday bloomers to save them from getting a belly ache.
Mistletoe and Holly Hanging the mistletoe and holly in your doorway and hard to reach places may not be a bad idea. Even though we adorn both of these holiday trimmings in any spot we need more holiday cheer, both are very toxic for our pets. If you find your fuzzy fellow making these a mid-day snack call your vet or poison control as soon as possible for advice.
Lillies and Daffodils Aside from the holiday treats and baked goods that you’ll be gifted, be aware that any bouquets or plant kits that include lilies and daffodils are very harmful to Felix and Fido. Plants that are in the lily, Narcissus, and daffodil families are very toxic to our pet friends. Symptoms include gastrointestinal signs, cardiac arrhythmia, kidney failure, convulsions and even death.
Christmas Tree The Christmas tree is usually the center piece of most of our homes during the holidays. But we shouldn’t let their beauty cover up the fact that they are still mildly toxic to our animals. With the many species of trees that we bring into our homes, fir tree oil can irritate our pets mouths and stomachs. Symptoms of consumption include excessive drooling or vomiting. Make sure to also clean up tree needles since they’re not the easiest to digest for anyone. Too many needles can cause GI irritation, vomiting, gastrointestinal obstruction or punctures. Be aware your animal won’t be drastically affected if they eat a few fallen pieces from the tree but make sure it’s not a regular snack that may eventually cause serious consequences.
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