Protect pets from harmful isle plants
Our state's beautiful greenery and climate allow our pet ohana to romp comfortably outdoors year-round. But even some longtime residents are unaware of all the special plants, pests and poisons that can endanger our animal companions.
Question: What plants in my yard can be harmful to my pet?
Answer: Many common plants can be dangerous or fatal when eaten by pets. These include the azalea, oleander, sago palm, Easter lily, daffodil, bird of paradise, castor bean, yew plant, philodendron, dieffenbachia, corn stalk plants and cyclamen. Even tomato leaves and stems and rhubarb leaves are on the list. If your pets have access to these plants, indoors or out, move them out of reach.
Q: I heard that slug bait and antifreeze are fatal to pets -- is that true?
A: While the sweet taste of antifreeze is attractive to pets, the chemical is very dangerous when ingested. The same is true for snail and slug bait that comes in packaging that curious dogs can dig through easily. Store these in secure containers placed too high for pets to reach.
Pets also commonly become ill when given an improper dose of flea treatment. Double-check to make sure you are using the right amount for your dog's (or cat's) weight.
Q: What are the harmful pests?
A: Bufo toads, or cane toads, are Hawaii's biggest threat. Powerful toxins are concentrated in the glands behind the toads' ears. When a dog bites a toad, poison is released in its mouth. Immediate treatment by a veterinarian is recommended. Since the toads come out after dark, it's best to supervise your pet outdoors at night.
Prepare for an emergency
The "Guide to Pet Emergencies" offers first-aid suggestions for a variety of pet accidents. The flier is available at many veterinary clinics, the Hawaiian Humane Society and on the Humane Society's Web site at www.hawaiianhumane.org.
The Hawaiian Humane Society welcomes questions by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org. Indicate "Pet Ohana" in the subject line. Or, write "Pet Ohana," Hawaiian Humane Society, 2700 Waialae Ave., Honolulu 96826.