During Christmas time houses are decorated with ornamental plants and decorations. Some of these, however, are toxic plants for cats and dogs.
Holly and mistletoe are toxic to animals, so we have to be careful that our animals do not get too close to them.
Which plants are toxic for cats and dogs
The Christmas plants we use to festively decorate our houses are often harmful to pets. The most dangerous plants are holly, mistletoe, poinsettia, fir and amaryllis. These species are also toxic to humans.
Why are holly and mistletoe toxic plants?
Among the most dangerous plants for our pets are holly and mistletoe. Both plants contain particular toxic substances. Ingesting holly can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, excessive salivation and abdominal pain. In addition, the thorny leaves are dangerous to the eyes of dogs and cats, which can be injured if they even get close. Mistletoe, on the other hand, can cause potentially serious heart abnormalities if ingested, in addition to the symptoms already described. The berries and leaves of both plants are toxic. The more or less serious effects of intoxication depend on factors such as the amount ingested, the weight of the animal and any previous illnesses.
How to act after intoxication?
When your pet shows symptoms of intoxication from mistletoe and holly, you should immediately take him to the vet to have his stomach pumped. Gastric lavage removes the toxic substance from the gastrointestinal tract and the subsequent administration of activated charcoal helps to reduce its absorption.
How to prevent intoxication?
In order to prevent poisoning, it is first necessary to know which plants are toxic for cats and dogs. Once the dangerous species have been identified, it is enough to keep them out of the house. In the case of Christmas plants, we must take care to always keep the surrounding space clean of leaves, needles and berries. Also, if you want to keep mistletoe and holly indoors, choose places that are inaccessible to cats and dogs, so that they do not get close to them.
Holly and mistletoe are among the most toxic plants for cats and dogs. At Christmas time, we should be careful to ensure that our pets do not ingest harmful substances and can enjoy the festive season with the whole family.