Ruby's story highlights the dangers of poisonous flowers to dogs

A pet owner has issued a Mother’s Day warning about the dangers of daffodils after his puppy ate the flowers and became violently sick.

Martin McKinley, from Hartlepool, hadn’t realised daffodils were poisonous until miniature Dachshund Ruby ate three of them whole before falling ill.

He rushed the dog to Vets Now’s pet emergency clinic in Middlesbrough where vets and vet nurses worked hard to save Ruby’s life.

Daffodils are a perennial Mother’s Day favourite in households across the country and are frequently found on spring walks. Now the former coach driver is urging other pet owners to be aware of the toxic perils they can pose.

Ruby the dog who ate daffodils 1
Ruby ate daffodils sitting on a shelf in the living room ©Vets Now

“Daffodils were my mum’s favourite flower and we always get a bunch around this time,” said Martin, 64.

“I put them on a bottom shelf, which turned out to be a big mistake. When Ruby started eating them, I thought it was funny at first as, not having had a dog before, I just didn’t realise the danger.

“I told her off and thought no more of it until she started being sick about 20 minutes later.

“She was sick again and again, so I texted my wife and someone told her they were poisonous and that we needed to get in touch with a vet straight away.

“She was really poorly by then and I knew I needed help quickly.”

Martin contacted his local vets and, as it was in the evening, he was directed to Vets Now. Our clinic in Middlesbrough is one of a nationwide chain of more than 60 hospitals and clinics open seven days a week for out-of-hours pet emergencies.

“She must have been sick three or four times in the car on the way there and it was quite a scary journey,” said Martin. “I was really worried by how bad she was looking.”

Daffodils growing outside
Daffodils are extremely dangerous to dogs and cats

Many flowers and plants can be hazardous for both dogs and cats, with daffodils flowers and bulbs both dangerous.

Daffodils contain several toxic chemicals which are present throughout the plant but are concentrated in the bulb. These chemicals can cause severe vomiting and diarrhoea but in extreme cases can also cause problems with the heart and circulation.

When Martin got Ruby to the clinic she was rushed inside for treatment while Martin waited anxiously for news.

“Thankfully, our team in Middlesbrough were able to stabilise and treat Ruby for narcissus intoxication,” said senior vet Dave Hollinshead.

“While severe poisoning from daffodils is rare, it’s not unheard of, so it’s great to hear Ruby has recovered fully from this incident.

“We see a big rise in pet emergency cases during public holidays and significant events such as Mother’s Day and often it’s due to pets eating things they shouldn’t such as flowers or chocolates.

“Ruby’s case goes to show how important it is to keep potentially poisonous items, including flowers, well out of reach of all pets.

“Urgent treatment may be needed if your dog eats something toxic so please contact Vets Now as soon as possible if you’re at all concerned.”

Ruby and owner Martin for Vets Now article on dog ate daffodils
Thankfully, Ruby was deemed well enough to go home that same night

Studies have shown that most cases of poisoning from daffodils cause gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting and diarrhoea.

Other signs that may develop are drooling, abdominal pain, lethargy and hyperthermia, although these tend to last no more than 24 hours.

“The staff were so good, not just in looking after Ruby but keeping me informed, too,” said Martin. “It was great to have somewhere like Vets Now in an emergency.

“Luckily Ruby was fine and I was able to get her home that evening.

“She was a bit sorry for herself at first but happily she was soon back to her old self.

“Obviously daffodils are everywhere at this time of year and I’m sure I’m not the only pet owner who wasn’t aware of the dangers. We’re certainly making sure they’re well out of reach now.”

All of Vets Now’s premises always have a vet and vet nurse on site.

We also offer an online video consultation service to make professional veterinary advice more easily available.

While the service is not suitable for life-threatening emergencies, our experienced vets are available to discuss any worries or concerns pet owners might have.

If your pet needs an in-person follow-up appointment at any vet practice, we will refund the online consultation fee, so you never pay twice.