Top Ten Plant Poisoning Claims for Pets in 2008

PetMD Editorial
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PetMD Editorial
Published: March 23, 2009
Top Ten Plant Poisoning Claims for Pets in 2008

Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (VPI), the largest provider of pet health insurance in the U.S., analyzed more than 400 claims of toxic plant ingestions it received last year to find which plants and plant products proved most likely to poison pets. Raisins and grapes topped the list, followed by mushrooms and marijuana.

Top Plant Poisoning Claims of 2008

   1. Raisins/Grapes
   2. Mushrooms
   3. Marijuana
   4. Lily
   5. Walnuts
   6. Onion
   7. Sago Palm
   8. Macadamia Nuts
   9. Azalea
  10. Hydangea

According to VPI, most mushroom ingestion claims were submitted in late summer and fall, with more than half of all plant poisonings in October 2008 being due to mushrooms. Mushrooms seem a likely source of poisoning due to a dog or cat’s frequent encounter with the fungi outdoors, but marijuana? Perhaps those who use hashish should be more careful to keep it in a secure place.

"Prevention is a simple matter of keeping these hazards out of a pet’s environment," said Dr. Carol McConnell, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. And with the average amount claimed for plant poisoning in 2008 coming in at a whopping $427, it would be prudent to heed Dr. McConnell’s advice. Even in low doses, ingestion of some poisonous plants may cause anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, and even renal failure in cats and dogs.

If you like to learn more about recognizing symptoms of plant poisoning and methods of treatment, please visit our articles on outdoor plant poisoning and indoor plant poisoning in cats, which can be found in the PetMD First Aid and Emergency section.

Image: Cary Bass / via Flickr

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