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Florida dogs beware: poison plants

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Florida dog owners need to be alert to common outdoor plants that are toxic to dogs, causing symptoms ranging from mild stinging and irritation to vomiting, diarrhea and seizures.

Oleander is highly toxic if any part of the plant is ingested, water that has touchepoison plant rosary pead the leaves may be poison.
Rosary Pea (pictured at left) both seeds and other parts are poisonous when ingested.
Philodendron may cause painful stinging of a dog's mouth and lips, and skin and eye irritation upon contact.
Nightshade some varieties have leaves and fruit that may be hazardous.
Lilies some types are dangerous.
Sago Palm the entire plant is poisonous and a few seeds can cause death.
Azalea leaves and honey from flower nectar are toxic
Japanese Yew entire plant and seeds are poison
Lantana entire plant, especially berries, is poisonous.

There are many other toxic plants, flowers and fungi that your dog may encounter outside - or inside - homes in Florida. Don't forget to keep your dog away from mushrooms.  Not all varieties are poison, but often non-poisonous mushrooms grow in the same location as toxic ones.

How can you minimize the risk of plant poisoning for your dog? Familiarize yourself with plants that are hazardous and remove them if possible. If you are uncertain, find a guidebook and look at pictures. Dogs might nibble plants if they don't get enough fiber in their diet. Curb this behavior by adding bran flakes to your dog’s meal or switching to a food higher in vegetable content.

Suspected poisoning requires swift action. Rush your dog to the vet, even if he or she shows no symptoms of distress. Only a veterinarian can treat your dog for the best recovery.

For a comprehensive list of plants that are poisonous to dogs, visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

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