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Geraniums & Pet Safety


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Geraniums make an beautiful addition to any flower garden, and their allure occasionally extends to household pets. Knowing what precautions to take around this common household plant can assist should your pet ingest some of these blooms.

Identification

  • Geranium is the common name for the Pelargonium genus of flowers. Geraniums come in a variety of flowers and sizes. The word "Perlagonium" comes from the Greek word for "stork," due to the fact that part of the flower is said to resemble a stork’s bill.

Warning

  • The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Poison Control Center lists geraniums as being toxic to both dogs and cats.

Significance

  • The toxic principles of geranium plants are gerinol and linalool. Both of these oils are common ingredients in pesticides and bug repellents.

Effects

  • Enteric distress, vomiting, refusal to eat and depression are seen in animals who have ingested geraniums. Rare side effects include seizure and death. When in contact with the skin, geraniums can cause a mild dermatological irritation.

Solution

  • If you feel your cat or dog has eaten geraniums, seek veterinary care immediately. If your pet suffers a rash or itching from rubbing against geranium plants, wash the area thoroughly with soap and water.

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