Poisonous Plants for Dogs and Cats: Philodendron
Philodendrons are common house plants and also a very common part of tropical landscaping in the southern US. All parts of all types of philodendrons are toxic to most animals, including dogs, cats, horses, birds and even people. Continue reading to learn about clinical symptoms and what to do if your pet has been exposed!
What makes this plant poisonous to dogs and cats?
The toxic component of the philodendron plant is calcium oxalate.
Clinical Symptoms of Philodendron Poisoning in Pets
If ingested or chewed on, clinical signs of philodendron toxicity include:
- Oral pain and irritation, possibly blisters in the mouth
- Swelling of the lips, tongue and other parts of the mouth
- Excessive drooling
- Difficulty swallowing
- Vomiting (not in horses as they do not vomit)
If exposed to fresh plant trimmings and material gets into eyes:
- Excess tearing from the eyes
- Swelling around eyes
- Ulcers on cornea (clear globe of the eye)
- Squinting and rubbing at eyes
What can I do if my dog or cat eats philodendron?
If possible, try to flush the mouth and/or eyes with clean, cold water to remove as much of the calcium oxalate material as possible.
Take your pet to your local veterinarian or emergency clinic right away. Your pet may need pain medications, medications to reduce swelling, medication to help bind any additional plant material that is still in the GI tract, and may need IV fluids and nutritional support until they are comfortable enough to eat on their own.
What Should I Avoid Doing?
Do NOT induce vomiting as the toxic substance of philodendron will cause further inflammation and swelling along the stomach, esophagus and mouth if your pet is forced to vomit the material back up.
If your vet deems it necessary to induce vomiting once your pet is at the hospital, they can give your pet medications to help coat and protect the mouth and GI tract from the harmful material.
For more information and pictures of Philodendron, check out these links:
Read more in our series of poisonous plants for your dog and cat:
Poisonous Plants for Dogs and Cats: Tulips
Poisonous Plants for Dogs and Cats: Oleander
Poisonous Plants for Dogs and Cats: Sago Palm
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