Toxic plants: find out which species to keep out of reach of dogs and cats

Specialist Matheus Ordoñes, coordinator of the Veterinary Medicine course at Faculdade Anhanguera, advises how owners can act in cases of poisoning.

It is a common habit among domestic animals to sniff or nibble everything in sight, whether inside the house, in the yard, garden or even during a walk. This typical behavior occurs, mainly, when it comes to puppies. However, guardians must be aware of the type of object that the animal comes into contact with. An example are ornamental plants used to decorate internal and external environments, which have a toxic potential for pets.

According to the veterinarian and coordinator of the Veterinary Medicine course at Faculdade Anhanguera de São José - SC, Matheus Ordoñez, it is necessary to be aware of the symptoms that may indicate that there has been ingestion or contact with a toxic plant. “Symptoms of poisoning can be mistakenly interpreted as signs of infectious or parasitic diseases. This is due to its varied range, which includes everything from nausea, vomiting, constipation and respiratory disorders to hyperthermia (increase in body temperature), hyperemia (change in blood circulation), dryness of the skin and mucous membranes, among other similar clinical signs”, he explains. .

Concern should also occur for both elderly animals and puppies, as their metabolism may be impaired or underdeveloped, presenting a deficiency in the body's defense when there is intoxication. Therefore, it is essential to seek help from a veterinarian to carry out all necessary procedures.

The veterinarian lists the plants that are normally found in homes and outdoor areas, and are capable of posing a health risk to domestic animals. Check out:

  • Lily: Especially toxic to cats, can cause acute kidney failure;
  • Nobody can do it with me: she is the champion when it comes to toxic plants for dogs and cats. Its toxicity mechanisms are multiple and the substances found in the plant, such as calcium oxalate, irritate the mucous membranes of animals and humans;
  • Azalea: Both the leaves and the flowers are toxic and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing and even coma in dogs and cats;
  • Philodendron: Contains calcium oxalate, which can cause oral irritation, swelling of the tongue and throat, vomiting and difficulty breathing in dogs and cats;
  • Oleander: Commonly used as an ornament in gardens, the Oleander (Nerium oleander) contains toxic substances throughout. These active ingredients can cause vomiting, diarrhea, ataxia, dyspnea, paralysis, arrhythmias, coma and death in humans and domestic animals. Symptoms of plant poisoning can be observed from 1 to 24 hours after ingestion;
  • Dieffenbachia: Also contains calcium oxalate and can cause symptoms similar to philodendron if ingested by dogs and cats;
  • Aloe vera: While the sap may have medicinal properties for humans, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea and muscle tremors in dogs and cats if ingested in large quantities;
  • Hydrangea: The flowers and leaves contain cyanide and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and difficulty breathing in dogs and cats;
  • Parrot's beak (Euphorbia pulcherrima): White latex can cause mouth and stomach irritation, vomiting and diarrhea in dogs and cats;
  • Tulip and narcissus: Mainly the bulbs are toxic and can cause vomiting, diarrhea and convulsions in dogs and cats.

“If your animal has ingested a toxic plant, take it to the veterinarian immediately. If possible, indicate which type of plant was ingested and the quantity so that they can carry out the most specific treatment”, concludes Matheus.

about Anhanguera

Founded in 1994, Anhanguera is part of the lives of thousands of students, offering quality education and content compatible with the needs of the job market, in its undergraduate, postgraduate and extension courses, in person or remotely. In 2023, it became Cogna Educação's main higher education brand, with the process of unifying the institutions, aiming at the lifelong learning concept, which provides access to education at all stages of the student's journey.

The institution expanded its portfolio, providing new options for Free courses; preparatory courses, with emphasis on the Intensive OAB (Brazilian Bar Association); professional training, in the most diverse areas of activity; EJA (Youth and Adult Education) and technicians.

With great penetration in Brazil, Anhanguera is present in all regions with 117 own units and 1.398 centers across the country. The institution provides numerous services to the population through School Clinics, in the area of ​​Health and Legal Practice Centers, places where academics carry out practical studies. Focused on the excellence of integration between teaching, research and extension, Anhanguera has in its DNA the concern to share knowledge with society also through projects and social actions.


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