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Tulip and Hyacinth Toxicity

District of Columbia: Sunday was a small reminder: spring is on the way. So is gardening! Many bulbs are quite toxic to dogs and care should be taken to avoid having your pup snack on tulips and hyacinths. Although tulips and hyacinth are traditionally planted in the fall, spring gardening can frequently ring their bulbs back to the surface. Many of us will also plant them in spring as well – but those in the know realize they don’t do as well.

Hyacinth and tulips contain alkaloids and allergenic lactones as they belong to the Lillaceae family. These compounds tend to be present in high concentrations in the bulbs, much less so in the leaves and flowers. Eating bulbs can result in serious medical issues. Dogs generally gain access to bulbs from digging them up, during planting season when the bag of bulbs is left out, or when the ground is tilled. When chewed the bulbs, and to a lesser degree the stems and flowers, cause irritation to the tissues of the mouth and the esophagus. Dogs may drool excessively, paw at their mouth, vomit, or even have severe diarrhea. If ingested in larger quantities, clinical signs such as increased heart rate and difficulty breathing, tremors, or depression may be seen.

Should your pup ingest these bulbs and show any problems, please give us a call at District Veterinary Hospital as soon as possible. Care is supportive.