Beware of the Bouquet – Vets issue toxic flower warning to pet owners ahead of Valentine’s Day
With bouquets of flowers one of the top presents for loved ones on Valentine’s Day, the UK’s leading emergency vets has issued a warning to pet owners – after they saw an 60% rise in flower related cases last February*.
As the month to celebrate love, the British Florist Association has estimated that 250 million stems of flowers are sold at Valentines globally.
To help pets avoid an emergency this Valentines, Vets Now is advising pet owners to take extra care, sharing the list of popular plants that are extremely poisonous and can prove fatal for cats and dogs.
Vets Now head of telehealth, Dave Leicester, who is responsible for a team of experienced vets at Vets Now’s Video Vets Now service and supports emergency clinicians at Vets Now’s 60+ clinics and hospitals throughout the UK said: –
“The jump in emergency visits for flower-related cases at Vets Now clinics all over the UK is a big concern, given the highly toxic properties of many popular flowers being bought for seasonal occasions like Valentine’s Day.”
“We’d urge pet owners to be vigilant and extra cautious during times when you are likely to have more flowers on display at home than usual. Pets can be notoriously curious, so be sure to keep vases of bouquets and potted indoor plants well out of reach if you do have cats and dogs in your home.”
Dave added: – “We recommend reading up on the list of plants and flowers that are poisonous to pets. If you’re planning to buy a bouquet for a loved one who is a pet owner, we’d advise opting for bouquets that only contain pet-safe flowers.”
Popular Valentine’s Day plants and flowers that are poisonous for pets
Lilies – Certain types of lilies – those from the Lilium or Hemerocallis species – are very dangerous for cats. They contain highly toxic substances and ingestion of any part of the plant, or even just grooming the pollen from their coat, or drinking water from the vase, can be potentially fatal, causing acute kidney failure. While lilies don’t pose quite as severe a risk to dogs, they are still toxic. The calla lily, peace lily, lily of the valley and palm lily, are all deemed dangerous to dogs.
Tulips – As one of the most popular flowers for Valentine’s Day bouquets, Tulips are in the Lily family, and are poisonous to both cats and dogs. The bulbs are the most toxic part but any part of the plant can be harmful to your cat, so all tulips should be kept well away.
Daffodils – These springtime flowers can appear early in the season if the winter has been mild. The yellow flowers contain a poisonous alkaloid that triggers vomiting while crystals in the bulbs are severely toxic and can cause serious conditions such as cardiac arrhythmias or respiratory depression. These signs can be seen between 15 minutes and one day following ingestion.
Chrysanthemums and Daisies – Although only mildly toxic, chrysanthemums contain pyrethrins, which are used in dog flea and tick medications, and are particularly poisonous to cats. If your cat has eaten chrysanthemums look out for vomiting, diarrhoea and lack of appetite and seek advice from your vet.
Hyacinths – Belonging to the liliaceae family, the highest concentration of poison in hyacinths is in the bulbs, making them harmful to both cats and dogs. Ingesting a hyacinth bulb can lead to drooling, vomiting, or diarrhoea, depending on the number consumed.
Pet-friendly plants and flowers
Roses – nontoxic to cats and dogs, the top flower of choice for Valentine’s Day is a great option for homes with pets. Just make sure to trim any thorns from stems to help avoid scratches to little paws that may find their way to the bouquet.
Plus – Lavender; Sunflowers; Orchids
Even for these non-toxic plants though, too much of a good thing can still cause stomach upset. If you are worried about something your dog has eaten, or if you’re observing diarrhoea, vomiting or other troubling clinical signs, call your daytime vet, Video Vets Now or your local emergency clinic.
Vets Now is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week, with clinics across the UK.
If you’re unsure whether your pet needs veterinary treatment, you can book an online video consultation with Video Vets Now. If you know for certain your pet has eaten something toxic, however, do not delay, call your daytime vet or your local emergency clinic. For more helpful pet owner advice and information, or to find your nearest clinic, visit www.vets-now.com.