March 25, 2020

This plant has no place near your pets

This plant has no place near your pets
Dr. Chris Brown

My social distancing fail uncovered something that may help the furry family. This relatively common backyard plant isn’t just highly toxic to human eyes, it will also burn your pets. Here’s how to know if it’s in your backyard…

Imagine fresh chill sitting in your eye for 2 hours. That’s as close a comparison as I can give to the feeling of having the sap of the Fire Stick (aka Pencil) Cactus burn your eye ball! But ever since my accident that caused a burnt cornea and a trip to emergency, I’ve discovered that the sap is also highly dangerous for pets. The sap can seriously burn their skin (and eyes) if they brush past the cut stems resulting in nasty skin wounds and a similar trip to the emergency department…at the vet this time.

Take a good look at the pics or google Euphorbia Tirucalli (Firesticks) to know if it’s at your place. It’s a thick stemmed succulent type plant with tubular stems and leaves that bleed a white sap when broken.

My advice? Remove the plant from your garden while wearing protective glasses, long sleeve clothing and gloves. It’s just not worth taking the risk.

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