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Archive for the 'Poisonous plants' Category

The final word on poinsettias

I just received this American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Holiday Safety Alert:

"Attention, poinsettia-loving pet owners! You need not fear this festive holiday plant — rumors of its toxic potential are greatly exaggerated, say ASPCA experts.

"As our toxicologists at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) explain, poinsettias were first brought to the United States in the 1820s by J. Robert Poinsett, the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico at the time. The myth of the plant’s toxicity began when the two-year-old child of a U.S. Army officer allegedly died from eating a poinsettia leaf.

"Says the APCC’s Dana B. Farbman, CVT, ‘In reality, ingestions typically produce only mild to moderate gastrointestinal tract irritation in pets, which may include drooling, vomiting and diarrhea.’ So while it’s still a good idea to keep this plant out of your pets’ reach to avoid stomach upset, you need not banish it from your homes."

For additional holiday safety tips, there’s lots of good information at

You can also check the ASPCA Poison Control Center at

See you in a week (on Dec. 18):
I’m taking my annual Christmas Present Shopping Break (aka vacation) next week so I can go Christmas shopping with my wife. We also hold hands and go for lots of long walks together (my present). I’ll meet you back here for our usual morning cup of coffee on Dec. 18. See ya. /Gary

Posted on Friday, December 8th, 2006
Under: Pets, Poisonous plants | No Comments »

I could use a little help from my friends

I could use a hand if you’ve got a moment. I’m researching information to help me answer a couple of reader questions. If anyone reading this has encountered one or both of these problems and has a successful solution for dealing with them, I’d appreciate you sharing what you did with me so I can add it to my own ideas and pass it along. I’m actually looking for as many different solutions as possible. The more, the merrier as they say. I’ll also list your name with your idea if I use it.

Cat problem: A 4-year-old cat is very affectionate with a mother and her son, but every time the dad gets near him, he hisses. When the dad tries to pet the cat, it bites his hand. Any ideas on fixing this problem?

Poisonous plants and puppies: Lady is getting a boxer puppy and has been reading about plants that are poisonous to dogs. She’s been checking the Internet for lists of these plants (there are many) and figures just about every plant in her house and garden is on some list of poisonous plants. Does she need to dig them all up and toss them out? She says she will if she has to. She wants to know how other people deal with this.

Thanks for any responses. I’ve answered both of these questions many times over the years I’ve been writing my newspaper column and am ready to answer them again. I’m just always looking for new ideas on these things from the actual people who’ve dealt with them. Thanks for your help!

Posted on Wednesday, January 11th, 2006
Under: Animals, Cats, dogs, Pets, Poisonous plants | 4 Comments »