Top 5 Deadliest Plants to Pets

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center has listed the top 5 deadliest plants to pets.  Although the following list details the most problematic plants, we recommend that you discourage pets from eating any plants.  A plant doesn’t have to be poisonous to cause intestinal upset.

If you have any of the following plants in your house or if you believe your pet has come in contact with any of the following please contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (1-888-426-4435) immediately.

1.  Lillies:
  Ingestion of Lillies is the number one reason that people call poison control for their pets.  This plant is very popular and can be found in many gardens and flower shops because of its beautiful flowers.  This plant is especially toxic to cats and ingesting even a small amount can result in serious kidney damage.

2.  Azaleas:  Azaleas are not indigenous to this area, but are often used in landscaping and as an ornamental plant.  They contain a substance called grayanotowins.  This substance can cause vomiting, drooling, and problems to the central nervous system. In severe cases death can result from collapse of the cardiovascular system.

3.  Oleander:  Like the Azalea, the Oleander is only found in the US when used for ornamental purposes. Ingestion of any part of this plan can cause gastrointestinal tract irritation, abnormal cardiac function, and hypothermia.

4.  Sago Palm:  These popular ornamental plants can also be deadly to pets.  Ingestion can cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression, seizures, and liver failure.  Although all parts of the plants are toxic, it is thought that the seeds or nuts contain the most toxins.

5.  Castor Bean:  As with the Sago Palm, the nut or seen portion of the Castor Bean Plant are the most toxic.  The poisonous principle in the Castor Bean is Ricin, ingestion of even a tiny amount can cause severe abdominal pain, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, thirst, weakness, and loss of appetite.

If you suspect your pet has ingested even the smallest amount of a potentially toxic plant it is important to act quickly.  Immediately contact your veterinarian or poison control.  You can help keep your pets safe by assuring that your house and yard are free of toxic plants.  If you would like to learn more about these and other toxic plants please visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control at

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