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Common flower that is poisonous to pets

Heliotrope Toxicity
Heliotrope

The danger of heliotrope

Heliotrope is a hidden killer that can be found in the everyday garden. These flowers produce sweet smelling clusters that are purple or white and are generally grown as annuals. Heliotropes are hardy plants that can tolerate all types of weather therefore they are common in our area. Heliotrope contains alkaloids that are potent liver toxins. When nibbled on in large quantities by our pets, extreme illness and possible death can occur. Alkaloids present in heliotrope include, echiumine, lycopsamine, and intermedine.

Pets that have ingested the plant begin to show signs of “walking disease” which is a common term for heliotrope toxicity. After ingestion, the animal may show symptoms such as lethargy, loss of appetite, emaciation, oral ulcers, yellow pigmentation of the skin, mouth, and eyes, a distended abdomen, and liver failure. Signs and symptoms of the syndrome progress rapidly over a few days to a week. 
Unfortunately, once severe symptoms become prevalent stopping the progression of liver damage is almost impossible.  The damage to the liver may progressively get worse over months and eventually result in death, because of this the best treatment is prevention.
The good news is that typically heliotrope is not very palatable but it may be sampled by curious juveniles or eaten by animals with no other options. 
The poisoning often occurs when the deep green leaves get confused or mixed in with other things. A safe default is to assume that all plants can cause a reaction to pets until you have researched and know otherwise. 
In conclusion, keep plants like Heliotrope that can wreak the most havoc out of the yard...its just not worth taking any chances. Stay safe and happy gardening!
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