After the dreary winter months, we are especially happy to see the first flowers in spring. In many gardens crocuses sprout like mushrooms from the ground and bouquets of tulips embellish many a living room. However, some spring flowers are toxic to dogs and cats. So if your four-legged friends like to nibble on one or the other plant, they should better avoid the following flowers in the house and garden respectively. Keep an eye on your animals around them.
Lily of the Valley
Lily of the valley is highly toxic not only to cats and dogs, but also to us humans. The plants and especially their flowers contain namely ca. 38 different glycosides (z. B. Convallatoxin, Convallatoxol), which have strong effects on the heart and circulation.
In case of poisoning, dogs and cats often vomit and may have diarrhea and abdominal pain. They also often appear listless and short of breath. Especially dangerous are the cardiac arrhythmias caused by the glycosides. Without treatment, they can even lead to cardiac arrest.
Daffodils, often called daffodils, bloom from March to May. They are quite poisonous for dogs and cats. Especially the bulbs contain toxic alkaloids, such as. B. lycorine, galanthine and galanthamine. As little as 15 grams of fresh daffodil bulbs can be fatal to a dog.
Poisoning manifests itself in the form of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, listlessness, tremors, convulsions and cardiac arrhythmias.
Snowdrops are typically more forest plants, but they are increasingly found in our gardens as well. They often bloom already in February. Although the entire plant contains various toxic alkaloids such as z. B. Galanthamine and lycorine, but the most toxic is the bulb.
The alkaloids in snowdrops cause nausea, excessive salivation, vomiting, diarrhea and dilated pupils in dogs and cats. If animals have eaten large amounts, they may even experience paralysis, epilepsy-like seizures, and circulatory collapse.
Crocuses are one of the most popular and common garden plants in springtime. The picrococin contained in the plant breaks down in the body to safranal and can cause gastrointestinal distress (salivation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea) in dogs and cats.
Hyacinths bloom in our gardens from March to May and are slightly poisonous for cats and dogs. Due to the calcium oxalates (sharp crystals) and alkaloids contained in the plant, they can cause poisoning symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, increased salivation, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea.
Tulips are one of the most popular spring flowers and bloom from April to May in our gardens. While the whole plant is poisonous, it is the bulbs that are most toxic. They contain particularly high levels of the toxic tuliposides.
When eaten, tulips cause increased salivation, vomiting, diarrhea and shortness of breath in dogs and cats.
Irises and gladioli
Iris and gladiolus are also toxic to dogs and cats. If the animals eat the plants, they can cause gastrointestinal problems with salivation, vomiting, diarrhea and gastrointestinal bleeding.
What can I do if my dog or cat has eaten poisonous plants?
If you suspect or have even observed that your four-legged friend has eaten one or more of the spring flowers mentioned, then you should in any case as soon as possible to the veterinary surgeon. If possible, take the plant to the vet – because so he knows exactly what it is about and can better assess the danger.
In the first one to two hours after ingestion, the veterinarian can treat the dog or cat with a special medication called let vomit. This prevents the plants from being digested and the toxic ingredients from entering the cycle in the first place. In bad cases, gastric lavage under anesthesia may also be necessary. Through the gift of Activated charcoal or. Charcoal tablets can additionally reduce the absorption of toxins from the intestine. The activated carbon binds the toxic substances and the animal excretes them undigested.
If the dog or cat Symptoms of poisoning develops, the veterinarian will Treat symptomatically. For gastrointestinal complaints help z. B. Medication against nausea and vomiting, as well as stomach protection tablets to protect the stomach lining. Infusions can be used to compensate for fluid loss and stabilize circulation. In case of severe signs of poisoning and cardiac arrhythmias, animals must be hospitalized and intensively monitored.
Even though not all spring-blooming bulbs are potentially lethal and some of the poisonous plants "only" cause gastrointestinal discomfort, they are still very unpleasant for the animals. Therefore, you should make sure that your dog or cat does not eat the mentioned plants and if it does happen, it is important to consult a veterinarian absolutely and quickly.
Peterson, M., Talcott, P.: Small Animal Toxicology, Elsevier, 2013.
Tilley, L., Smith, F.Blackwell’s five-minute Veterinary Consult: Canine and Feline, 5 th edition. Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.
Lieske, C. "Spring-blooming bulbs: A year-round problem." VETERINARY MEDICINE-BONNER SPRINGS THEN EDWARDSVILLE- 97.8 (2002): 580-588.