With warm weather encouraging gardeners to revive their flower beds and indoor flower pots, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) reminds cat and dog owners that many plants can be toxic to animals. In particular, the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) draws attention to Brunfelsia, known also as “Morning, Noon, and Night” or “Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.”
Gardeners will recognize the ornamental plant by its fragrant purple flowers that gradually change to lavender before fading to white. The beautiful plant, while garnering attention from plant lovers, also seems to attract pets. Animals that ingest the plant can suffer from Brunfelsia poisoning.
“If pets consume any part of the plant, they can become ill within hours and develop gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting and diarrhea, as well as tremors, seizures, and muscle rigidity that makes the animal appear to be in a ‘sawhorse’ stance, closely resembling the signs of ingestion of the once-common rodent poison, strychnine,” said Dr. Sadfar Khan, veterinary toxicologist for the APCC. “Brunfelsia toxicity can progress very rapidly to a potentially lethal situation, so it’s critical that pet parents seek immediate veterinary care.”
Khan recommends taking precautions to prevent pets from coming into contact with Brunfelsia, including replacing the plant with a non-toxic alternative. For a list of non-toxic plants, visit the ASPCA website.