poinsettia poisonous dog

Are Poinsettia’s Really Toxic to Dogs and Cats?

Poinsettia, Euphorbia pulcherrima, are very common plants during the winter holiday season. New plants indoors and outdoors are tempting for our pets and many will ingest the leaves. Luckily, this plant has a very low risk of toxicity! Keep reading to learn about the signs and treatment of poinsettia poisoning in pets.

This article was written by a FirstVet vet

Did you know that FirstVet offers video calls with experienced vets? You can get a consultation within 30 minutes by downloading the FirstVet app for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

What part of the Poinsettia pant is toxic to dogs and cats?

The poinsettia plant contains a milky white sap that is irritating when ingested.

This sap is found in the branches and leaves.

What happens if my pet ingests parts of the Poinsettia plant?

The irritating sap can cause discomfort in the mouth and continue further down the GI tract.

Symptoms you may see include:

  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Reduced appetite
  • Lethargy

These symptoms are usually mild and resolve without treatment.

What should I do if my pet ingests Poinsettia?

Since the sap is mainly a GI (stomach and intestinal) irritant, removing access to the food and water bowl for a few hours is usually long enough to allow the vomiting to subside. Then you can give your pet small volumes of food and water over the rest of the day. This just prevents them from eating or drinking a large amount right away which can cause further vomiting.

If your pet continues to vomit or just doesn’t seem to feel well after a few hours, you may need to take them to the vet to ensure nothing else was ingested, such as tinsel, a Christmas tree ornament, or tasty baked good. The holiday season is full of new things and not all items are good for your pet’s GI tract!

Read more in our series of poisonous plants for cats and dogs:

Poisonous Plants for Dogs and Cats: Cyclamen

Poisonous Plants for Dogs and Cats: Tulips

Poisonous Plants for Dogs and Cats: Philodendron

Still have questions?

Schedule a video consult to chat with one of our vets.

This article was written by a FirstVet vet

Did you know that FirstVet offers video calls with experienced vets? You can get a consultation within 30 minutes by downloading the FirstVet app for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

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