Beware hidden dangers in spring flowers, plants for household pet

THE new breed of ‘pet parents’ who have adopted dogs and cats during lockdown, need to be mindful of the hidden dangers some flowers and plants pose to their furry friends.

Greencross Vets has warned that many of the common plants, springtime flowers and fruit trees that can be found in Inner West residents’ backyards, homes and parks, have toxins or seeds that can be harmful to dogs, cats, Guinea pigs and rabbits.
Dr Magdoline Awad, Chief Veterinary Officer at Greencross Vets, says with lockdown restrictions easing, there are many reasons to celebrate the arrival of warm sunshine and bright blooming plants and flowers, but it is important for new pet owners to know of the seemingly harmless dangers that Spring can bring.
“Flowering and non-flowering plants can lead to a variety of allergies. In fact, many common kinds of grass, weeds and flowers all have the potential to disrupt pets’ outside adventures,” she said.
Sometimes these allergies can be due to direct contact with the plant, while other times the plant’s pollen can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin of allergic pets. Other plants are more dangerous when they are eaten.
“Just like kids, our pets love to explore and try new things – tasting, smelling, chewing and rolling on things that they shouldn’t,” Dr Awad said.
“Simply coming into contact with certain plants and weeds can cause pets to suffer an uncontrollable urge to scratch, lick, chew and rub at their skin until fur loss and dermatitis develops.”
She said some of the symptoms included vomiting, diarrhoea, sudden kidney failure and sudden liver failure.