Poisonous house plants

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With the yearly winter holiday season coming up fast, it is also time to keep an eye on your pets if you bring any seasonal plants into your home. Poinsettia, mistletoe and ivy are several of the obvious ones that come to mind. Which ones are poisonous and which ones aren't?

Let's take a look at some the common poisonous plants that your pet might come into contact with. First there is the poinsettia.  A small bush that has leaf brackets that change color to mimic flowers. The "flowers" come in a wide variety of colors from red, white to purple. The plant is pretty to look at and it is not poisonous to humans or pets. In order to just get sick from ingesting the plant, a pet would have to eat about a pound of leaves to get an upset stomach. Not to worry, because the plant leaves are reported to be extremely bitter to the taste so it is unlikely that your pet would taste or eat more than one bite.

What about mistletoe? Well the same thing as the poinsettia, the berries are toxic but only in very large quantities. So unless you have pounds of berries all over the house then you don't have to worry about your pet ingesting them.

English Ivy on the other hand is toxic to pets and horses. The symptoms are vomiting, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, diarrhea.

While doing some brief research on this subject I found many misconceptions on the subject. The old one about poinsettias being poisonous is still making the rounds after being proved false almost 50 years ago. If you really need some accurate information on what plants are poisonous to your pets and livestock. please invest in a book with photos of the plants so you can refer to it when you need to. I am sure you can find one on sale at your nearest bookstore. Don't rely on questionable hearsay from slapped together websites and blogs put up just for advertising. You pet's life is worth more to you than that.

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