You Make The Diagnosis: Cats And Flowers

Pictured below is a magnificent arrangement of flowers.  Although the flowers are beautiful, one type is highly toxic to cats.  Which flower is poisonous?  What are the symptoms of toxicity? Diagnosis:  Lily  (Lilium and Hemerocallis species) Lilies from the Lilium and Hemerocallis species contain a toxin that causes renal diease in cats.  (The two orange flowers with brown […]

Oleander – The Entire Plant Is Poisonous

As a child, I remember my dad trimming the oleander bushes at my grandparent’s house.  The sap dripped on to his arms and caused painful rashes.  I did not understand how truly poisonous these plants were until years later when I entered veterinary school.  We were lucky that none of our pets consumed this pretty but deadly […]

Lantana, A Beautiful But Poisonous Plant

Here in Arizona, many people use Lantana as a decorative plant in their yards.  The groundcover thrives in the high temperatures found in the Valley of the Sun.  They also grow in tropical regions.  In my neighborhood, I see them in gold, yellow, red and gold, purple, pink and yellow, and white.                                                 […]

Texas Mountain Laurel Is Toxic To Animals

                                     The Texas Mountain Laurel is a popular plant because of its purple flowers and artificial grape smell.  Unfortunately, the entire plant is toxic to animals.  The plant contains grayanotoxin, a toxin that binds to sodium channels in cell membranes and changes the permeability.  It affects the nervous system as well as skeletal and cardiac muscle.  Common […]

Grapes And Raisins May Cause Renal Failure In Dogs And Cats

Many of the foods humans enjoy are not good for pets and some are quite harmful.  Raisins and grapes are in this category.  Although the toxic principle has not been identified, it appears that the flesh of raisins and grapes contains a poison that causes renal failure in dogs and cats.  After ingestion, the animal develops high blood calcium […]