Spring 2022

Expert pet advice on plant toxicity

Small dog ingests palm tree pits

Palmdog-1

Redding, our chihuahua, ate three or four palm tree pits around 20 minutes ago. We’re not sure what kind of palm tree it is—we think it’s a Mexican fan palm—but currently Otis isn’t showing any signs of distress. What should we do?

VetHelpline response:

The good news is Mexican fan palm pits aren’t toxic on their own. Please try to identify the species for sure and follow up with us if you are successful, so we can discuss potential toxicity concerns.

However, these pits pose a risk for gastrointestinal obstruction, especially in a small dog like Otis. We recommend bringing him to the veterinarian right away to have vomiting induced under observation to prevent any choking or obstructive hazard.

Large dog eats foxglove

Foxglove-1

Our Bernese mountain dog, Luna, ate a single flower from a foxglove. We know they’re very toxic, and she’s currently asymptomatic. What do we do next?

VetHelpline response:

Foxglove is extremely poisonous to dogs. This plant contains cardiac glycosides, which can cause severe heart effects.

We recommend inducing vomiting immediately at home with 4 tablespoons of a hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) solution. You can try giving 3 tablespoons first, and if she doesn’t vomit try adding the additional 1 tablespoon (4 tablespoons, in total, should be the maximum amount).

  • If she does not vomit, we recommend immediate veterinary evaluation and likely decontamination, monitoring and supportive care as needed.
  • If she does vomit up the flower, monitor her closely at home for persistent vomiting.
  • If she only vomits up part of the flower, please call back so we can re-evaluate the situation. You’re likely going to want to bring her to the veterinarian, just to be safe.
Small dog eats plantain leaf

Plantain_Dog-1

About 5 minutes ago, our little pooch Fraiser ingested part of a plantain tree leaf—like the kind used for cooking.

The portion of the leaf that he ate is about six inches by six inches in size, and he’s currently showing no signs of discomfort. Should we bring him to the vet anyway?

VetHelpline response:

A plantain tree leaf may cause an upset stomach, but it’s not poisonous.

There is however a small risk of a foreign body obstruction. Monitor him closely at home in the next few days with an eye for signs like:

  • Excessive drooling or foaming
  • Gagging
  • Hacking
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Sensitivity or discomfort, especially around the belly
  • Bloody stool
  • Changes in his appetite

If any of the signs we discussed develop, we recommend an immediate veterinary evaluation.

Cat ingests wild hops plant

wildhopsCat

I reused some soil for my new snake plant. Not long after, my cat Gabby started to vomit. On closer inspection, I saw it contained some leaves that resemble a wild hops plant—but it could also be a part of the snake plant?

It appears that he vomited the entire piece of the plant up, but should I go to the vet anyway?

VetHelpline response:

Due to the seriousness of a wild hops plant ingestion, we would recommend immediate veterinary evaluation for Manuel. In addition to nausea and vomiting, the wild hops plant can cause a rapid onset of life-threatening symptoms, including hypothermia, increased heart rate and respiratory changes.

The concern with ingestion of the Snake plant is much less, but he could still experience mild vomiting and diarrhea. Either way, pack up some of the ingested plant and a sample of the vomit and go to the vet immediately.

Pets’ names have been changed. VetHelpline is not a substitute for a visit to your primary veterinarian.

Add-a-pet

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Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet

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