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     December is a season of traditions. One tradition is to watch the Badgers prepare for and play in a Holiday Bowl Game. This year it will be in the Orange Bowl. December is also a time to get together with our friends and relatives and celebrate our good times with each other. The Holiday Season is a fun time with presents and decorations. Flowers are often used to decorate homes. Some of the plants can be harmful. Below is a list of common plants and their degree of safety or danger for your pet.


  • Poinsettia- The flowers (red leaves) are bitter tasting and as a result dogs and cats may bite them but rarely eat them. If a pet were to eat the flowers they would likely vomit them, which would get rid of the problem. They may develop indigestion from this but are unlikely to have any severe systemic side effects.
  • Cyclamen- The root of this plant can cause vomiting episodes, but the rest of the plant is safe for animals.
  • Christmas Cactus- This does not produce any harm to your pet if eaten.


  • Lilly- All parts of Lilly plants are poisonous to animals. This plant can cause kidney damage if eaten.  
  • Holly- Holly berries can cause severe vomiting episodes.
  • Mistletoe- Mistletoe fruit can produce a severe allergic response when eaten. This reaction can cause cell death in many different organs and may be lethal.
  • Azalea- The flowers of this plant will produce severe vomiting episodes as well as unpredictable behavior. Azaleas have a hallucinogenic type effect on small pets.
  • Kalanchoe- The leaves of this plant may produce an abnormal heart rhythm.

  Should your pet eat any of these poisonous plants you can induce vomiting by squirting at least two tablespoons of Hydrogen Peroxide into the back of the animal’s throat. This causes a gas build- up in the stomach and produces vomiting. You can also give a child’s portion of Syrup of Ipecac.

  Some decorations inside however, can be dangerous to your pet.   Tinsel is notoriously known to pose a hazard to cats especially. Food that is tasty for us can cause vomiting and diarrhea to indiscriminate eaters, both dogs and cats. Indigestion problems are frequently encountered at this time and with quick attention are usually dealt with successfully.

    Christmas Cactus                       Kalanchoe                     Cyclamen                      Mistletoe                      



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