Common Poisonous Plants
Common Poisonous Plants
The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Poison Control Center is an excellent resource for information on toxic plants, as well as animal poison control in general.
Narcissus, Mistletoe & Rhododendron Toxicosis Report
Narcissus Common garden ornamental bulb.
AKA: Daffodil, jonquil (scientific name- narcissus spp.)
Toxic Principle: Narcissine, narcipoeitin, lycorineh, other alkaloids.
*Bulb is the most toxic part of plant*
Symptoms/Clinical Signs: Severe GI disorders (nausea, emesis, diarrhea), convulsions, shivering, hypotension, dermatitis, muscle tremors, and cardiac arrhythmias.
Recommended Treatment: Gastric Lavage, activated charcoal, fluid replacement and supportive treatment for gastroenteritis.
Rhododendron: Common garden and landscape plant. Also common in the woods of WNC.
AKA: Azalea (scientific name- rhododendron spp.)
Toxic Principle: Grayantoxin
*Leaves and flowers are toxic as well as honey made from the flower nectar*
Symptoms/Clinical Signs: Emesis, burning sensation in mouth, dimness of vision, diarrhea, hypersalivation, weakness, CNS depression, bradycardia, arrhythmia, cardiovascular collapse, and death.
Recommened Treatment: Do NOT use emetics. Use activated charcoal, replace fluid losses and provide respiratory support. Treat heart block with isoproterenol.
Mistletoe: Common ornamental plant during hollidays. Parasitic shrub that grows on other trees. Can be found worldwide in the wild.
AKA: American Mistletoe Scientific name(s)- phoradendron leucarpum, P. serotinum, P. flavescens
Europian Mistletoe Scientific name- viscum spp.
Toxic Principle: Toxalbumin, pharatoxin viscumin
All members of Viscaceae are semiparisitic plants that grow on other trees and toxicity is thought to vary with type of host tree upon which a plant grows. Generally Europian mistletoes are considered more toxic than their American counterparts.
*Leaves, stems and berries are moderately toxic*
Symptoms/Clinical Signs: Emesis, colic, diarrhea, mydriasis, hypovolemia, depression, and hypotension. Serious clinical signs are not expected and most signs that do develop are expected to be mild and self-limiting. Fluid and electrolyte abnormalities could develop in patients with prior health problems or if there has been protracted vomiting.
Recommened Treatment: Fluid and electrolyte replacement, demulcents for gastroenteritis.
Tilley, Larry P. and Smith, Francis W.K. Jr. The 5 Minute Veterinary Consult Canine and Feline Second Edition. Baltimore, MD ©2000
Peterson, Michaele E. and Talcott, Patricia, Small Animal Toxicology Second Edition. St Louise, MO ©2006.
If you think that your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, prompt action is necessary. Call your regular veterinarian or R.E.A.C.H. immediately. The veterinarian will need to know what plant was eaten, so take a sample of the plant with you to the hospital.
You may also call ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. (Please note that a $65 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.)
ASPCA Pet Tips: 17 Common Poisonous Plants