3 thoughts on “Living with plants and pets — Part 1

  1. I was horribly misquoted in this article. Anything in the rhododendron and prunus families are extremely toxic to goats. I’m not sure about dogs and cats. Please consult a reputable veterinarian site for lists of toxic and non toxic plants.

    1. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We take these concerns seriously. We have immediately removed the reference to feeding rhododendrons to animals. Rhododendrons are toxic to animals as well as humans. They can cause adverse symptoms in small doses or even from honey with rhododendron pollen in it, and can be fatal in higher doses. We are following up on the other concerns you have expressed. Thanks again.

    2. We also have removed the reference to the Prunus family, which includes cherry, choke cherries, black cherry, prune and other trees and shrubs. Ripe fruits are considered safe to eat if pitted, but harmful for humans and pets if the pits are chewed. According to the pet poison helpline, “Cherry trees and shrubs (Prunus sp) including the Choke cherry, Black cherry and cherry laurel contain cyanogenic glycosides. All parts of these plants other than the ripe pulp around the seeds are considered toxic and contain cyanide. The main concern are the pits (seeds). If the pit is chewed and crushed, cyanide may be released. Cherries purchased for human consumption typically contain a lower amount of cyanide in the pits than cherries found in the wild. Cyanide inhibits cytochrome oxidase, an enzyme necessary for cellular oxygen transport, preventing appropriate oxygen uptake by cells. When ingested in toxic amounts, clinical signs of dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, inadequate oxygen levels, bright red gums, shock, and death can be seen. If a pet ingests the whole pit without chewing and breaking it open, poisoning is not expected. Stomach upset and a potential for a gastrointestinal foreign body may be present depending on the size of pet and number of whole pits ingested.” See: https://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/cherry/. Gardeners are not likely to pit tree fruits on the branch so it may be a better course to avoid locating them where pets/animals could encounter them.

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