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By Gary Bogue
Tuesday, June 12th, 2007 at 7:09 am in Pets & Poisons.

Common yard and garden substances can be hazardous to animals who eat them
United Animal Nations (UAN), a national animal protection organization dedicated to bringing animals out of crisis and into care, has issued a list of the common summertime substances that can be hazardous to our pets.

“Many of the plants in our gardens and the products we use to care for them can cause intestinal upset and other medical complications in dogs and cats,” said UAN president and CEO Nicole Forsyth. “With summer upon us we’ll be spending more time outdoors and must make sure our pets don’t eat these dangerous and potentially lethal substances.”

Forsyth advises pet owners to prevent their pets from “dining out” on the following potentially toxic substances:

amaryllis … azaleas … clematis … daffodils … gladiolas … hibiscus … hydrangea … irises … lilies … morning glories … oleander … rhododendron … tulips … wisteria
* This list is not comprehensive but represents some of the most common plants.

antifreeze … cacao bean mulch … citronella candles … fertilizers … fly bait containing methomyl … insecticides … insect repellent containing DEET … rat bait … slug and snail baits containing metaldehyde and methiocarb … sunscreen products not specifically for animals … pool treatment supplies … weed killers

** Rat bait, which causes bleeding, and snail/slug bait, which causes violent seizures and elevated body temperature, are the two most life-threatening substances.

** Antifreeze, while not typically considered a gardening substance, can cause severe kidney failure and even small amounts can be fatal.

“Even the most well-behaved pets can get into things that are not intended to be eaten,” said UAN board member Armaiti May, DVM. “Ideally, pet guardians should avoid using any potentially toxic substances. Otherwise, these items should be placed in areas inaccessible to animals.”

If you suspect that your pet has ingested a toxic substance, or if he or she is exhibiting symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy or excessive thirst, call your veterinarian immediately.

The life you save may be that of your beloved dog, cat or bird. /Gary

** You can find out more about United Animal Nations at

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