Looking after house plants is becoming an increasingly popular hobby for more and more people. Whether it is succulents, pothos plants or trailing plants, people love to care for their own house plants, watch them grow, thrive and flourish.
The pothos, for example, is one of the easiest houseplants to grow and care for, even if you are one of those people that tends to forget to water the plants (we’ve all done it).
However, you do have to be careful with pothos plants as they can be toxic, and dangerous to keep around animals. Luckily, if you do have some concerns, we are here to soothe your mind and answer your questions!
How is a pothos plant toxic?
A pothos plant is a type of trailing vine plant that is native to the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. This type of plant is much loved for its heart shaped leaves, with beautiful patterns, shapes and variegation, but it is highly toxic.
Pothos plants are incredibly toxic due to the insoluble calcium oxalate crystals contained in their stems and leaves. These calcium oxalate crystals are similar to small shards of glass as they will pierce and irritate the skin, eyes or mouth when touched and ingested.
They can also damage the digestive tract and respiratory system if chewed or swallowed, which is why these plants can be very dangerous for animals such as cats and dogs.
Are all pothos toxic to pets?
Despite how easy it is to keep, a pothos is poisonous to pets . According to the ASPCA, this plant is often referred to as the Devil’s Ivy, as pothos plants are very poisonous to animals such as cats and dogs, and can cause some adverse reactions in humans.
For instance, all parts of this beautiful yet poisonous plant can be dangerous. This includes the seeds, leaves and even the roots. If any part of the pothos plant is ingested by an animal such as a pet, then this could lead to vomiting, diarrhea, liver failure or even death.
Whilst humans are not as susceptible to toxicity from the pothos plant, it can cause skin irritation, burning of the mouth, vomiting, diarrhea, the swelling of the lips, tongue and the throat in some people.
However, pothos plants are not considered harmful to humans in small quantities, but you should keep in mind that these types of plants will need to be kept away from animals such as cats and dogs.
What do I do if my dog ate pothos?
Pothos plants are incredibly toxic and poisonous to dogs, creating irritation in the mouth and tongue, which can cause difficulty breathing, swallowing or lead to vomiting and liver failure. You must keep pets away from pothos plants at all times!
Unfortunately, accidents do happen and your pet may have ingested part of your pothos plants.
If you do notice that your dog has eaten part of a pothos, then you need to contact the veterinarian immediately. The sooner you seek medical attention, the better the chances are of your dog making a full recovery.
The symptoms of pothos poisoning in dogs are:
- Irritation of the mouth, eyes, lips or tongue
- Excessive drooling
- Foaming at the mouth
- Difficulty swallowing
- Respiratory problems
- Pawing at the mouth
- Difficulty breathing
If you notice any of these symptoms, then take your dog to the veterinarian or a medical professional immediately.
The veterinarian can treat the problem by washing out the mouth and removing any remnants of the plant that could cause further damage. They may also put your dog on oxygen if they cannot breathe properly.
If your dog has swollen up somewhere, then the veterinarian may administer antihistamines until the pet is stabilized, and in a healthy state.
As the plant is poisonous, your dog may also be treated with fluids to flush the toxins from the body, and prevent them damaging the liver or kidneys, which would start to fail and shut down. This could result in death, and so your veterinarian will need to act fast after the pothos has been ingested for the best results.
The American College of Veterinary Pharmacists states that the ‘minimum threshold for toxicity is not known,’ which is why you should report the issue immediately, if you suspect your pet has ingested pothos.
Most cases of pothos toxicity can be mild as some dogs may only ingest a little, and so with the right treatment, your dog should be fine. However, it is advised to keep these plants on higher ground, far out of the reach of pets and children, just to be on the safe side.
What do I do if a cat eats a pothos?
Cats can be very curious creatures, and may try to ingest some of your pothos plants. If you see a cat chewing on a pothos plant, then take them to the veterinarian immediately.
It may also be a good idea to take a leaf of the particular pothos in question so that the veterinarian can examine it, and choose the best course of action quickly.
Pothos poisoning can cause the same reaction in cats as it does in dogs, so you will need to take them to a professional to be treated quickly and effectively for the best outcome, and to get your pet back to normal health.
In conclusion, if you suspect that an animal has eaten or ingested part of your pothos plant, then you will need to seek medical help immediately.
Pothos plants are highly poisonous and toxic, and can damage the digestive system, cause respiratory problems and even liver or kidney failure.
This is why you should always keep this plant out of the reach of children and animals as a precautionary measure!