Is Your Garden Good Or
a time of growth, renewal and new life. Nature slowly
awakens. Flowers begin to bloom and tender green shoots
sprout from tree limbs. Days become warmer and longer as
the earth tilts towards the sun. Animals give birth as the
cycle of life begins again. Winter is officially over.
The gardeners amongst us look forward to “digging in the
dirt” and feeling the sun warm our backs. Of course our
canine friends joyfully join us, digging with glee.
But did you know that many of those plants, bulbs, shrubs
and mulches that were carefully selected to enhance your
yard can be harmful to your four-legged friends? Symptoms
can vary from mild gastric distress to severe cardiac,
kidney or liver damage, and even death.
What should you do if you suspect your dog has been
Don’t panic. Your dog’s life depends on you remaining calm
and gathering as much information as you can as quickly as
possible, prior to calling the
Poison Control Center. Try to determine what the dog has
eaten and how much. If possible, note the name of the plant
and the manufacturer. Write down any symptoms the dog may be
experiencing. Be prepared to give the age, weight, sex and
breed of the dog. Save any vomit or uneaten pieces of the
plant. You may be instructed to take the plant to your
nearest garden center or agricultural center for
identification if you are unsure of what it is.
According to the ASPCA, DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING unless you
are instructed to do so by a veterinarian.
Once you have quickly gathered this pertinent information,
Control Center’s toll free number 1-888-426-4435. There may
be a $55 consultation fee for their service so have your
credit card number available. You will be assigned a case
number which should be written down in your dog’s medical
file. If you are instructed to bring your dog to your
veterinarian or closest emergency hospital for treatment,
they will need to have this case number to refer to should
the PCC need to be called for further guidance.
According to the SPCA,
if the dog is having seizures, is unconscious or is having
difficulty breathing, call your veterinarian or emergency
hospital immediately to alert them that you are bringing in
a dog that you suspect has been poisoned.
They can prepare for your arrival and contact the Poison
Control Center from their facility if needed.
Fertilizers and Pesticides
also a threat to our pets. Dogs and cats walk and lie on
the chemically treated areas and then ingest these chemicals
by licking their feet and their bodies. They are also more
susceptible to the chemical smells since they are
structurally closer to the ground and therefore breathe in
more concentrated amounts of the fumes than we would. If
you must use any type of treatment, try to select safe,
organic products. Always follow the directions listed on
the label, and do not let your dog out in the yard until the
time listed on the label has lapsed.
Ingestion of large amounts of fertilizer can cause severe
gastric distress due to the presence of heavy metals like
iron. Gastric blockage can also occur.
most dangerous forms of pesticides are mole or gopher bait,
fly bait and most forms of rat poison. Pesticides should
only be used in areas that are inaccessible to your pets at
all times. They should be stored in a safe area and in
accordance with the package directions.
good rule to follow: if it’s not safe for your child to
walk on or ingest, then it’s not safe for your dog either.
It’s up to us to choose wisely and keep our pets as safe as
we possibly can.
Cocoa Bean Mulch
contains spent cocoa beans which are residue from chocolate
production. The beans contain two stimulants, Theobromide
and Caffeine. Dogs are very sensitive to these chemicals,
and when ingested in low doses, they can cause GI upset –
i.e., vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. In higher
doses, rapid heart rate, convulsions, muscle tremors and
death can occur. Dogs are particularly attracted to the
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center offers a free magnet that
may be placed on your refrigerator. This is a great way to
keep their toll-free emergency number and website address
handy in case of an emergency. To order your free magnet,
visit their website:
Source: ASPCA website
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is staffed by 25
veterinarians, including nine
Board-certified toxicologists and 14 certified veterinary
technicians. It is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a