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10 common poisonous plants for dogs & cats!

10 common poisonous plants for dogs & cats

10 common poisonous plants for dogs & cats!

1. Syringa berry tree (Melia azederach)

Dogs love the ripe berries on the Syringa tree, yet are completely oblivious of how dangerous they are! The berries are poisonous because they contain a high concentration of meliatoxins. Once ingested, this plant will typically affect your dog’s nervous system.
Symptoms to watch for: restlessness, muscle trembling, vomiting, diarrhoea, respiratory distress. 
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2. The Lily Family  

As beautiful and fragrant as lilies are, they are also POISONOUS, especially to CATS! There are a wide variety of lilies and these include Arum, Clivia, Stargazer, Saint Joseph, Tiger. If your kitty has a nibble of this plant, it will cause kidney failure.   
Symptoms to watch for: Kidney failure

3. Delicious Monsters

Delicious monsters are quite common garden and house plants. Dogs, for some strange reason have a penchant for chewing on this plant’s leaves, roots and stems which are, unfortunately poisonous. The plant releases insoluble calcium oxalate which causes your furry companion’s mouth, tongue and lips to become inflamed.
Symptoms to watch for: Excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing
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4. Clivia Miniata

The very popular Clivia can be found in lots of people’s gardens. Dogs and cats that ingest the bulb of this plant in large amounts will experience toxic reactions. Young dogs as well as those that usually are destructive in gardens have a tendency to chew on Clivia.
Symptoms to watch for: Salivation, vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, general malaise. 

5. Macadamia Nut

Macadamia nuts are highly poisonous to dogs. The level of toxicity is generally mild to moderate. If your dog consumes the nuts or kernels of this tree, adverse effects can be noted within 6 to 24 hours.
Symptoms to watch for: Vomiting, tremors, joint stiffness, severe lethargy.
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6. Chinkerinchee

The Chinkerinchee, also known as the Star of Bethlehem or Tjienkerintjee is a very pretty plant which is extremely toxic to dogs and cats. Dogs often become intoxicated because they chew or dig out the bulbs – this is the toxic part! Dog or cat owners should consider removing this plant to prevent poisoning 
Symptoms to watch for: Severe diarrhoea, blindness

7. Onions

Onions, also referred to by their botanical name Allium cepa and Allium sativum are also highly toxic to both dogs and cats. Some people may grow them in their gardens while others use onions as an insect and flea repellent. Dog and cat owners often feed their pets left-over food containing onions. If your pet ingests onions, he is at risk of serious health complications.
Symptoms to watch for: Damage to the red blood cells which causes anaemia and jaundice
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8. Grass seeds

Certain grasses such as Rooigras (Themeda triandra), Spear grass or Assegaaigras and Bur Bristle grass (Setaria verticillata) have seeds that stick to and penetrate surfaces. The grass seeds penetrates the nose, eyes, eyelids, ears, gums or soft palate and even between the toes. As soon as the seed comes into contact with the skin, it pricks it, the dog licks the area which causes the seed to penetrate the skin and swelling may occur.
Symptoms to watch for:  Depending on the location and shape of the seed, there will be different symptoms. If the seed lodges in the ear, your pet may scratch or rub the ear, shake his head. If the eye is affected, it will be red or inflamed. Seeds in the nose will cause sneezing or nasal discharge. If the skin is affected, he may chew at an area or abscesses may develop.  A handy natural remedy to keep in your pet first aid kit is Ear Dr which will help to relieve the irritation and itchiness once the seed has been removed. 
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9. Oleander

The Oleander tree is another common tree which is found all over South Africa. Toxic to both dogs and cats, this plant is known to primarily affect the heart.
Symptoms to watch for:  Vomiting, diarrhoea, salivation followed by respiratory distress, cardiac rhythm disturbances and heart failure.

10. Cannabis sativa

Cannabis Sativa, also commonly referred to as “dagga or Marijuana” plant is harmful to dogs and cats. Wondering how your pet would be exposed to this plant? People grow this plant in their gardens or your dog or cat may actually eat the butt of a Marijuana cigarette and be at risk.
Symptoms to watch for:  Vomiting, Increased respiration rate, dry mouth and eyes
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How do you keep your pet safe from harmful plants in the garden?

If you have a garden, it would be best to err on the side of caution and remove or avoid buying toxic plants that your pets may have access to. Experts advise that you add bran flakes to your dog’s food or change his diet to one that contains higher amounts of vegetable fibres to discourage cravings for vegetation. Most importantly, keep the contact details of your vet and Poison Control on hand and always observe your pet for strange behaviour.

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Feelgood Health Team - March 12, 2019

Good morning Marc,

Thank you for reaching out to us!

Celtis Africana Seeds are not known to be toxic to dogs. If your dog eats the seeds and doesn’t have any diarrhea or vomiting then there shouldn’t be any cause for concern. If you are concerned, it may be best to consult your vet for peace of mind.

Dogs are very clever and will often eat seeds, plants or stones if they have some sort of nutritional deficiency. My recommendation would be to start your dog on a good quality daily supplement to help eliminate any deficiencies that he/she may have, such as Herbal Pet EveryPet Formula.

Herbal Pet EveryPet Formula is a daily multivitamin, prebiotic, mineral and herbal supplement all-in-one that contains all the essential vitamins and minerals your dog needs for excellent health and vitality.

For more information on Herbal Pet EveryPet Formula, please follow this link:

I hope that you have found the above to be helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Feelgood Health Team

Marc - March 12, 2019

My dog is extremely fond of celtus aficanus seeds and is always eating off the ground; what’s your view on any potential harm. Thanks

Gia Pagel - January 17, 2018

Hi there
Is Natal Mahogany poisonous for cats?

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