BEWARE OF BACKYARD DANGERS!
As the weather warms up, more and more animal companions will be heading for the great outdoors. Even if that means no more than a daily romp in your backyard, always be there to supervise -- and please make sure your pets stay safe with the following tips from the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center:
Always store lawn and garden products in areas that are inaccessible to animals. Ingestion of large amounts of fertilizer, for example, can cause severe gastric upset and gastrointestinal obstruction.
Do not allow pets to go on lawns or in gardens that have been treated with fertilizers, herbicides or insecticides until the time listed on the label by the manufacturer.
Know which plants and trees can be poisonous to your pets.
Cardiotoxic plants -- those that can affect the heart -- include lily of the valley, oleander, rhododendron, azalea, yew and foxglove.
Rhubarb leaves and certain species of lily can cause kidney failure. The leaf or stems of tomato plants are toxic (not the actual tomato), and a raw (not cooked) onion can be lethal.
Cycads and some species of mushrooms can result in liver failure. Remember, toxic and nontoxic mushrooms can grow in the same area; to be on the safe side, always assume that any ingested mushroom is highly toxic until it has been identified.
If you suspect that your animal companion has eaten a poisonous plant, call your veterinarian or the APCC's emergency hotline -- (888) 4-ANI-HELP -- for round-the-clock telephone assistance. If you are unsure of the species of plant ingested, you may need to bring the plant to a nursery for identification.
For more information on what's toxic and what's not--and what you can do to prevent your pet from being poisoned -- visit APCC online: www.napcc.aspca.org
ASPCA News Alert - 6/19/2002