Quandary: Poisonous plants for pets in Summit | SummitDaily.com

Quandary: Poisonous plants for pets in Summit

Dear Quandary,

Are there any plants in Summit that are poisonous for my pets to eat?

Thanks,

Rooted in trouble

Indeed, it depends on what breed of furry, slimy or hairy creature you share your abode with, but yes there are dangers lurking in the backcountry — you know other than the bears and moose.

Recently a story has gained a lot of public interest about a dog who ingested water hemlock at Horsetooth Reservoir (Ft. Collins area) and died shortly after. Sadly, this is a true tale, but water hemlock is not a huge concern in Summit since it grows mostly in wetlands and only up to 8000 feet in elevation. Now this is an extreme case, and even if your pup, kitten or pony happens to gnaw on something poisonous, you don't need to start the naming ceremony for Sir Fluffypants III, just yet. Often times a reaction can be as mild as an upset stomach and it will pass. However, if you have any concerns, and know your pet is likely to inhale anything within a 6-foot radius, it is still a good idea to check with your vet to ensure the reaction stays mild.

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Don't think you can just pass the blame on this one though. While Mother Nature does her fair share of self-preservation, you can do the same — or I guess it would be pet preservation. Keeping Fido leashed while hiking is one way to know exactly what he's getting into, and even if he is a garbage disposal, you'll have a better chance of stopping him before he ingests a deadly dosage.

The plants you need to keep an eye on in the wilderness really are more numerous than what I can jot down for you, so check The Humane Society of The United States website, where you can print a full list (in a handy carrying size). For our neck of the woods some of the biggest bad guys are mushrooms for your pooch. These not-so-tasty treats can do some serious damage to your pup's liver. According to an associate veterinarian with the Mountain Mobile Vet, all mushrooms have the potential to cause this damage for pups, so don't let your sweet little doggie get hooked.

You know how they say 'curiosity killed the cat?' They're liars. It was lilies. According to the Humane Society all parts of the lily are poisonous for these aloof little fellows, and while symptoms start with nausea it can quickly progress to kidney damage and the fluffy one's demise if they don't get treatment. So call your vet quickly if you think a lily is to blame.

Once again to throw the blame in your lap, often times your pet meets their maker in the form of houseplants — a tragic way to go for the descendents of the noble wolf. Many of the plants people munch on can be dangerous for both cats and dogs alike including rhubarb and tomatoes. The leaves on both of these plants are the source of trouble, so keep them far away from your furry companions. Aloe can cause vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia and tremors in cats and dogs alike as well, so if your four-legged pal gets a sunburn don't go reaching for this plant.

In case you are thinking of bubble wrapping all your pets, remember this old goat's been nibbling on Summit's grass for years with hardly a belly ache to show for it. Your pets can still be wild creatures, just keep an eye on them and maybe decorate with daisies this Easter instead.

Have a question?

Quandary, an old and wise mountain goat, has been around Summit County for ages, and has the answers to any question about life, love and laws in the High Country. Questions? email quandary@summitdaily.com