Sheltie Nation

Category Archive for ‘Health’

Winter precautions for pets

It is one of the most joyous and festive times of the year, but  winter months can create special dangers for all our pets.   Here are a few tips to help keep your “furry children”  safe during this special time of year.

Holiday Items

  • Tinsel/Ribbon – can be ingested and cause serious gastrointestinal trauma.
  • Christmas tree water (with additives) – can cause stomach upset.
  • Bubble lights – contain methylene chloride which can be harmful if swallowed as a liquid or inhaled as a vapor.
  • Lights/electrical cords – cats, kittens & puppies may bite cords causing electrocution.
  • Glass/Plastic ornaments – can cause serious gastrointestinal trauma.

Winter Items

  • Antifreeze – even a small amount (1 tablespoon) can be fatal to a small pet.
  • Rodenticide – should not be used in a home with pets or small children.
  • Ice Melts – can cause ulceration if left on the skin or feet.  Can also cause serious gastrointestinal trauma if ingested.

Food Items

  • Alcohol – can be toxic to pets causing breathing problems & depression.
  • Chocolate – dark and/or bakers chocolate is more harmful in smaller doses than milk chocolate.  All chocolate should be kept away from pets.
  • Human Food – is too rich for pets, and while it’s tempting to share over the holidays, it’s best to keep your pet on his/her normal diet.
  • Macadamia Nuts – cause difficulty walking, tremors & swollen limbs.
  • Yeast dough – if enough is ingested before it has risen fully or cooked, it will continue to rise causing serious gastrointestinal distress.


  • Holly Berries – can cause gastrointestinal upset if ingested in large quantities.
  • Mistletoe – can be very toxic to pets if ingested.
  • Pointsettias – are not as toxic as once believed, but can cause stomach upset.
  • Lillies – even in small amounts, can cause serious kidney damage if ingested.
  • Yew – causes muscle tremors, difficulty walking & has adverse cardiac effects.
  • Cyclamen – the roots of this plant can cause serious gastrointestinal distress.

If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, you should call your veterinarian or you can call the NAPCC.

(NAPCC stands for National Animal Poison Control Center)
This is not a free call.
* 1-800-548-2423 ($30 per case, credit card only; free follow-up until problem is resolved.)
* 1-900-680-0000 ($20 for 5 minutes, $2.95 per minute thereafter).

Thanks to Lynn for the cute photo of Jason, Kaleigh and Hannah!

Did you know: there are over 700 plants that can be toxic to your dog?

Apple That size of a number seems crazy and makes me wonder if posting the list of NON poisonous would be shorter?!

This list can’t possibly begin to cover every single poisonous plant in existence, and it should also be noted that some of these plants are much more toxic than others.  It is important to use your best judgment when determining whether or not these plants should remain in your home or garden.

Consider your personal situation and the normal behavior of your Sheltie.

Alfalfa (multiple exposures)
Aloe Vera
Apple – The seeds of an apple can be poisonous.
Apple Leaf Croton
Apricot (pit)
Arrowgrasses – These are marsh type plants whose leaves contain poisons.
Asparagus Fern
Atropa Belladonna – This is a type of garden herb in which the entire plant can be poisonous, especially its seeds & roots.
Autumn Crocus – This is a commonly found garden flower in which the entire plant can be poisonous.
Avacado (fruit & pit)
Baby’s Breath
Baneberry  – This is a wildflower whose berries & roots are the poisonous portions.
Bird of Paradise – This is a garden flower whose pods are poisonous.
Black Locust – This is a tree in which the entire plant can be poisonous, especially the bark & shoots.
Bloodroot – Is a wildflower & herb whose stem & roots are most poisonous, however the entire plant is toxic.
Box – Is an ornamental shrub that is poisonous in its entirety, but especially the leaves.
Branching Ivy
Buckeye – This is a tree whose sprouts, nuts & seeds contain poisons.
Buddist Pine
Buttercup – This is a wildflower & garden herb that is poisonous in its entirety but mostly in the leaves.
Caladium – Is a houseplant that is poisonous in its entirety.
Calla Lily
Carolina Jessamine – This is an ornamental plant whose flowers & leaves contain poisons.
Castor Bean
Charming Dieffenbachia
Cherry (seeds & wilting leaves)
Chinaberry Tree – Is a tree whose berries are poisonous.
Chinese Evergreen
Chockcherries – This is a wild shrub whose poisonous parts include the leaves, cherries & pit.
Christmas Rose – Is a garden flower that contains toxic leaves & rootstock.
Common Privet – Is an ornamental shrub whose leaves & berries can be poisonous.
Corn Cockle – Is a wildflower & weed whose seeds are particularly poisonous.
Corn Plant
Cornstalk Plant
Cowbane – This is a wildflower & herb that is poisonous in its entirety, especially the roots.
Cow Cockle – Is a wildflower & weed whose seeds are poisonous.
Cowslip – Is a wildflower & herb whose entire plant is poisonous, especially the leaves & stem.
Cuban Laurel
Cutleaf Philodendron
Daffodil – Is a garden flower whose bulbs are poisonous.
Daphne – This is an ornamental shrub that contains poisonous bark, berries & leaves.
Death Camas – This is a field herb whose poisonous parts include the leaves, stems, seeds & flowers.
Delphinium – Is a wildflower that is poisonous in its entirety, especially the sprouts.
Devil’s Ivy
Dracaena Palm
Dragon Tree
Dumbcane – This is a houseplant & is poisonous in its entirety.
Dutchman’s Breeches – Is a wild & garden flower whose roots & foliage are poisonous.
Elderberry – Is a tree whose poisonous parts include the leaves, bark, roots & buds.
Elephant’s Ear – This is a houseplant poisonous in its entirety.
Emerald Feather
English Ivy – Is an ornamental vine that is completely poisonous but especially the leaves & berries.
European Bittersweet – This is a vine poisonous in its entirety but especially in the berries.
False Flax – Is a wild herb whose seeds are poisonous.
False Hellebore – Is an ornamental flower whose roots, leaves & seeds are toxic.
Fan Weed – This is a wildflower & herb whose seeds are poisonous.
Fiddle-leaf fig
Field Peppergrass – Is a wildflower & herb that contains poisonous seeds.
Flax – Is a wildflower & herb whose seedpods contain poisons.
Florida Beauty
Foxglove – This is a wild & garden flower whose leaves are poisonous.
Fruit Salad Plant
German Ivy
Giant Dumb Cane
Glacier Ivy
Gold Dieffenbachia
Gold Dust Dracaena
Golden Pothos
Hahn’s Self-Branching Ivy
Heartland Philodendron
Holly – Is a shrub containing poisonous berries.
Horsechestnut – Is a tree containing poisonous nuts & sprouts.
Horse Nettle – Is a wildflower & herb poisonous in its entirety, especially the berries.
Hurricane Plant
Hyacinth – This is a wild & houseplant whose bulbs are poisonous.
Indian Rubber Plant
Iris – Is a wild & garden flower whose leaves & roots are poisonous.
Jack-in-the-Pulpit – Is a wildflower that is entirely poisonous, especially the leaves & roots.
Janet Craig Dracaena
Jatropha – This is a tree & shrub whose seeds are poisonous.
Jerusalem Cherry – Is an ornamental plant whose un-ripened fruit & foliage are poisonous.
Jimsonweed – Is a field plant that is entirely poisonous, especially the seeds.
Laburum – Is an ornamental plant whose seeds, pods & flowers can be poisonous.
Lacy Tree Philodendron
Lantana – Is a houseplant whose foliage is poisonous.
Larkspur – Is a wildflower that is poisonous only as a young plant.
Laurels – This is a type of shrub with poisonous leaves.
Lily of the Valley
Lupines – Is a shrub whose seeds & pods are poisonous.
Madagascar Dragon Tree
Manchineel Tree – A tree containing poisonous sap & fruit.
Marble Queen
Matrimony Vine – An ornamental vine containing poisonous leaves & shoots.
Mayapple – A wildflower poisonous in the form of its un-ripened fruit as well as the foliage & roots.
Mexican Breadfruit
Milk Vetch – A wildflower poisonous in its entirety.
Miniature Croton
Mistletoe – A houseplant with poisonous berries.
Monkshood – A wildflower poisonous in its entirety, especially the roots & seeds.
Moodseed – A vine whose fruit & roots are poisonous.
Morning Glory – Is a wildflower containing poisonous seeds & roots.
Mother-in Law’s Tongue
Mountain Mahogany – Is a shrub with poisonous leaves.
Mustards – These are wildflowers whose seeds can be poisonous.
Narcissus – This is a garden flower whose bulbs contain poisons.
Needlepoint Ivy
Nicotiana – Is a garden flower whose leaves are poisonous.
Nightshade – Is a wildflower & vine with poisonous leaves & berries.
Oaks – Are trees with poisonous leaves & shoots.
Peace Lily
Peach (wilting leaves & pits)
Pencil Cactus
Philodendrons – Are houseplants poisonous in their entirety.
Plumosa Fern
Poison Ivy
Poison Oak
Pokeweed – Is a field plant containing poisonous roots, seeds & berries.
Poinsettia – Is a houseplant with poisonous leaves, flowers & stems.
Poison Hemlock – This is a field plant containing poisonous leaves, stems & fruit.
Potato – A garden plant whose shoots & sprouts can be poisonous.
Potato Plant (green fruit, stem & leaves)
Precatory Bean
Rattle Box – Is a wildflower that is entirely poisonous.
Red Emerald
Red Princess
Red-Margined Dracaena
Rhododendron – Is an ornamental shrub whose leaves are poisonous.
Rhubarb – A garden plant with poisonous leaves.
Ribbon Plant
Rosary Pea – Is a houseplant whose seeds are poisonous.
Saddle Leaf Philodendron
Sago Palm
Satin Pothos
Silver Pothos
Skunk Cabbage – A marsh plant whose entire plant is poisonous but especially the roots & leaves.
Smart Weeds – Are wildflowers c
ontaining poisonous sap.
Snow-on-the-Mountain – This is a wildflower whose sap is poisonous.
Sorghum – Is a type of grass whose leaves are poisonous.
Spotted Dumb Cane
Star of Bethlehem – Is a wildflower poisonous in its entirety.
String of Pearls
Striped Dracaena
Sweetheart Ivy
Swiss Cheese Plant
Taro Vine
Tomato Plant (green fruit, stem & leaves)
Tree Philodendron
Tropic Snow Dieffenbachia
Velvet Grass – A variety of grass whose leaves are poisonous.
Weeping Fig
Wild Black Cherry – Is a tree with poisonous leaves & pits.
Wild Radish – A wildflower with poisonous seeds.
Wisteria – Is an ornamental plant containing poisonous seeds & pods.
Woody Aster – A wildflower whose entire plant is poisonous.
Yellow Jessamine – An ornamental vine that is entirely poisonous.
Yellow Pine Flax – A wildflower poisonous in its entirety but especially in the seedpods.

Thanks to Sheltieboy for the pic of Patrick enjoying his Christmas treat!

Back to: Sheltie FAQ

10 Most Common Poisonous Plants for Dogs

Trevor pondI know we are still many weeks away from spring here in the Northeast, but it is a good time to review & check our homes for some of the most toxic plants for dogs.

Azalea – The toxins in azalea plants can be very severe and potentially cause drooling, diarrhea, vomiting, central nervous system weakening and depression, and in some cases possibly coma or death.

Castor Bean – Poisoning as a result of this plant can cause abdominal pain, drooling, diarrhea, vomiting increased thirst, loss of appetite and weakness.  More serious cases could also lead to dehydration, tremors, seizures, twitching muscles, coma and possibly death.

Cyclamen – The most poisonous portion of this plant is located in the root.  Ingestion of the plant can cause severe vomiting and gastrointestinal irritation.  In some cases death has been reported as a result.

Kalanchoe – Ingestion of this plant can cause gastrointestinal irritation and cardiac rhythm and rate problems.

Lilies – Plants of the lily variety are very poisonous to cats as well as dogs.  Even very small amounts of this plant could cause serious kidney damage.

Marijuana – Animals who attempt to snack on this plant can suffer serious consequences such as diarrhea, vomiting, increased heart rate, drooling, in-coordination, and even possibly seizures and coma.  You really shouldn’t have this plant around anyway.  ;)

Oleander – All portions of this plant are poisonous and can cause gastrointestinal irritation, hypothermia, heart problems and possibly death.

Sago Palm – While the seeds and nuts of this plant are most poisonous, the entire plant is toxic.  Animals ingesting parts of this plant may suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, depression, seizures and liver failure.

Tulips – The toxic portion of this plant is the actual bulb, which can cause drooling, central nervous system depression, gastrointestinal irritation, cardiac issues and convulsions.

Yew – Poisoning as a result of the yew plant can affect the nervous system and cause in-coordination, trembling and breathing difficulties.  It may also result in gastrointestinal irritation, cardiac failure and could possibly lead to death.

And on a related note…

Coco bean mulch is also toxic to dogs.  I don’t know why more people do not know about it or make the connection between coco & chocolate, but the manufacturers need to do a better job of informing customers of the dangers.

Snopes gives the following information:

Cocoa Mulch, which is sold by Home Depot, Foreman’s Garden Supply and other Garden supply stores, contains a lethal ingredient called ‘ Theobromine’.  It is lethal to dogs and cats, but it really attracts them because it smells like chocolate.

Theobromine is in all chocolate, especially dark or baker’s chocolate which is toxic to dogs. Cocoa bean shells contain potentially toxic quantities of theobromine, a xanthine compound similar in effects to caffeine and theophylline.

Next: There are over 700 plants that can be toxic to your dog!

Back to: Sheltie FAQ

Did you know? Tea Tree Oil is toxic to dogs.

This reminder came in from a member of Sheltie Nation, Momo’s Mom. 

TeaTreeMaybe you all know this already, but I just learned it the hard way:  TEA TREE OIL IS POISONOUS TO DOGS AND CATS.  My dog Momo is okay now, but I STUPIDLY put some tea tree oil on his paws and a few hours later, he could not stand up.” 

“We rushed to the vet ER and he required IV flushing, activated charcoal, discussion with Poison Control, overnight monitoring, and an extreme bath.   It is SOMETIMES it is used in very diluted amounts in dog shampoo and as a flea or tick repellent;  but, I would urge you to research it before using it IN ANY AMOUNT.  (That is what I should have done!)  It is just as dangerous when it is absorbed through the skin as when it is ingested orally and causes NEUROLOGICAL REACTIONS and can cause LIVER DAMAGE.”

“THANK GOD there was a good doctor at the ER that night to make up for my own idiocy.  Anyway, I hope this will prevent this from happening to everyone elses pets….Oddly enough, it is not included on any of the lists of things that are toxic to dogs.”

Momo’s story is a good reminder to us all to review possible toxic substances and our dogs.

The fact is, tea tree oil, like other essential oils, is graded on an LD 50 basis. What this means is: when tested on laboratory animals, the lethal dose needed to kill 50% of the animals is measured, and the results reported as LD50 at a certain number of grams or milligrams by weight.

Tea tree oil toxicity ranges between 2 and 5 g/kg body weight.  This is why, it is common for folks who are uninformed or who have received bad information, poison their own pets -particularly small cats and dogs.

So remember, just because it’s natural, an herb, used in aromatherapy, or has potential health benefits, does not meanit’s safe for all uses.

If you suspect that your pet has been poisoned, contact the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435.  This is 24 hour a day hotline.  (In some cases a consultation fee may be charged to your credit card.)

Next: 10 Most Common Poisonous Plants for Dogs

Back to: Sheltie FAQ

Sheltie safety reminder: leashes are for ALL dogs.

No these wounds were not caused by a leash or a fence, rather a lack of them!

Fences2Fences“Yesterday afternoon Autumn, my mom and I were taking a walk around the neighborhood when a large dog that was loose on its front lawn without a leash or any kind of fence came at us.  (No, it was not a pit-bull and the breed doesn’t matter because unfortunately any breed can have a rotten apple in the bunch.) The owner was in front of their house and the dog was lying in the grass.   There was no barking or any kind of warning before it started running at us and of course nothing to stop it from reaching us.  When I saw the dog come at us all I could do was scoop up Autumn in my arms and turn my back to the other dog.

Fortunately because of that the other dog was only able to bite Autumn’s knee and foot.   The owner was very apologetic and did pay her vet bills.  Autumn will be fine, nothing very serious, and my mom and I were not hurt.”

“I want everyone to know how important it is to have your dog on a leash or fenced, for their safety and the safety of others.  I know we think our furry kids are little angels, but you are taking a risk by not insuring everyone’s safety.

Ultimately the decision is yours and I would hate to see this happen to your dog/cat or anyone else.  Also, get to know about the dogs in your neighborhood and I like for my human neighbors to know Autumn.

There is another benefit I find with my neighbors knowing Autumn when we go for walks.  If she ever accidentally get away from us there would be a better chance of someone who knows her spotting Autumn and getting her back to us.”

Thank you Lisa!