Do cases of plant poisoning frequently occur?
No. There is often suspicion, especially in animals that roam freely in public gardens, where there are often potentially toxic plants, and in which phytosanitary treatments are sometimes carried out without proper indication. CIAV has helped me, more than once, with fundamental information about the type of product used.
Does the toxicity vary greatly between animal species?
With the right exceptions, what can do harm to one species, as a rule, also has harmful effects on the others. Often what makes the difference is the weight of the animal, which makes that the amount of the active ingredient ingested can have more or less serious effects.
What indications do you give to the owners of the animals in relation to toxic plants?
I always ask if they have plants at home, what kind of plants they have, if animals have easy access to them, and what type of fertilizer (liquid or solid) they use.
When they do not know, I ask them to take a picture and send it to me, so I can do the investigation. I also indicate sites that I trust and applications that owners can eventually use.
Is there any immediate measure that the owner of the animal can apply if he suspects of toxic poisoning?
There are home recipes for inducing vomiting, but it is always important to confirm that the intoxication was in fact by plants, because with some household products (detergents or disinfectants) the induction of vomiting may be contraindicated.
The ideal is always to go to the vet and if there have been vomiting and the owners do not know which plant, take all the parts that can help in the identification.
There are also solutions to be administered orally, which partially prevent the absorption of some toxics.
Is there a consensual list for this type of plants?
Consensual, no. There are plants that are on all lists, but will always depend on the bibliography consulted and the country of origin of the studies.
What are the most obvious symptoms and signs of possible plant poisoning?
Vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, excessive salivation, changes in breathing pattern, changes in mental state, lack of appetite.
Is there any way to divert attention to toxic plants?
If the plants are in a fixed place, the training can help, but the best way is always to limit the access.
Dr. Simão Nabais,
Veterinarian at the Veterinary Hospital of Restelo