Poinsettia poisoning in dogs and cats
Yes, that's right, the well-known poinsettia many of us buy during the lovely Christmas season is poisonous for dogs and cats to eat. However, it is not quite as poisonous as the rumor might sometimes suggest, and several Christmas stars are, according to their manufacturers, no longer poisonous - not to say that they are allowed to eat them, because some of them are still poisonous :-)
Poinsettia is a plant and it contains some substances that can give dogs, cats and other animals some very unpleasant symptoms, fortunately these symptoms are often not very bad and almost always go away by themselves after some time.
Why do our dogs, cats & other pets eat it then?
What happens is that animals such as dogs and cats find our poinsettia very exciting, since they don't normally see it and it's something mum & dad have brought home. So that's why our cat has to nibble on it and our dogs, yes they could probably eat it all :-)
What makes a poinsettia so poisonous?
The poinsettia contains a whitish substance that you see if you break off a leaf or something else on the plant, this juice acts as a solvent and contains, among other things, Phorbol ester. When your dog or cat eats the poinsettia, these juices primarily irritate the mucous membranes in both the stomach and intestines.
How do I see if my dog or cat has symptoms of "poinsettia poisoning"?
These are just some of the symptoms you can experience, if you are in doubt, it is always best to contact your local vet, so you are sure that there is nothing you have overlooked.
In case of contact with the skin, you will often see these symptoms:
- Increased itching
- Redness and/or rash on the dog
If your dog or cat has been eaten by a poinsettia, you will often see these symptoms:
- Increased salivation
- Stomach pain and in rare cases diarrhoea
How to treat poinsettia poisoning
Poinsettia poisoning, for the most part, does not require any special treatment, as the poisoning often goes away on its own, however, you can make the period more pleasant by ensuring your dog or cat has access to all the water it can drink, you can also give it a little milk (however, be careful not to give too much milk, as this can give your dog or cat an upset stomach too...)
Treatment of contact with the poinsettia can be remedied by bathing it often in a good dog shampoo and conditioner made for dogs and cats.
If your dog or cat continues to show symptoms of poinsettia poisoning, you can contact your vet and ask if they have anything to relieve nausea and if it is okay to use Zoolac , which can calm the stomach a little.
But again poinsettia poisoning, will usually go away on its own :-)
The best thing is, of course, to position your poinsettia so that your dog or cat can't get hold of it so easily ;-)
With kind regards and a very Merry Christmas ;-)
Jacob N. Masters | Uswithpets.dk