Guide to Plant Poisoning of Animals in North America
This book is a resource for helping identify poisonous plants in the home and garden, as well as providing information on the toxic properties of the plants and the clinical signs that can be expected in animals that eat the plants. The book is organized alphabetically by the plant’s botanical name. For each plant, the common names, most common species and a description of the plant along with one or more pictures of the plant are provided. Emphasis has been placed on providing plant pictures that help the reader quickly identify the plant. A glossary of terms is also provided for clarity. Wherever possible, the principle toxin(s) present in the plant, its mode of action and the clinical signs of poisoning it will cause in animals are covered. For each plant the author has given a brief assessment of the relative risk that the plant poses to household pets, and where relevant the potential risk to people. While most plant poisoning exposures in dogs and cats cause relatively mild and transient signs, general treatment recommendations are given for each plant. It is beyond the scope of this book to provide the spectrum of treatment possibilities that are available, and it is therefore important that a veterinarian be consulted when large quantities of plant material have been or are suspected of having been eaten, and if the animal appears in distress. Early treatment can make all the difference in the animal’s recovery. This is especially true in cats that have chewed and eaten the leaves or flowers of lilies such as the Easter lily.
To my wife Cassandra, thanks for your encouragement and support during the preparation of this book, and for the endless hours you waited while I photographed the plants included in the book.
Special thanks go to former students who gave impetus to the book’s inception.
Special recognition and thanks go to the following who provided photographs of plants for this book:
- Catherine Trendell, Painswick Rd, Gloucester, England
- John and Emily Smith, Baldwin, Georgia, USA
- Art Whistler, 2814 Kalawao St. Honolulu Hawaii, 96822, USA
- Julie Loquidis and Brinsley Burbidge, 127 Estate St. George, Frederiksted Virgin Islands 00840, USA
- E. Vinter, University of Pretoria, Onderstepoort, South Africa
- Virginia L. Smith, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, 80523, USA
- Larry Allain, National Wetlands Research Center 700 Cajundome Bldv, Lafayette, Louisiana, 70506, USA
- Glen Lee, Saskatchewan, Canada