Azaleas & Pets – [ Poisonous to Dogs & Cats? – 2022 ]

Even a single flower of azalea can be quite appealing to the human eye due to its beauty. So, when you have a whole garden full of stunning flowers and different hues, it becomes a treat for your eyes. However, this beautiful image gets ruined when you find out this small plant can be the cause of the death of your beloved pets.

As beautiful as azaleas are, they are poisonous to both pets and humans due to the presence of a toxin in the entire plant. I came across this information the hard way when my cat chewed a petal of azalea. The whole incident gave me quite a heart attack, which gave me the idea to pen all the symptoms and treatments down. So, if your pet has consumed any part of azalea, keep reading the article to find out how you can bring them out of their misery.

Azaleas & Pets

The beautiful look of azaleas makes them perfect for planting in your garden or keeping indoors in pots. Their plantation and growth do not require going to any extra lengths. You simply need to pick the right soil and then provide them with adequate amounts of water and sun exposure. However, there is a catch to these eye-catching shrubs, i.e., the poison that fills each flower.

Poisonous Azaleas

As stunning as azaleas are, these beautiful creations of God are quite poisonous. Every single type of azalea flower that is available in the market is filled with poison. They have a toxin which is known as grayanotoxins. This toxin can cause an effect on the muscle tissues of the heart and the skeletal muscles. Whether ingested by a human or a pet, these beautiful little flowers can inflict quite damage to both.

Toxicity To Humans

If a human consumes an azalea flower or any part of it, they will first feel a burning feeling in their mouth. This burning feeling is then followed by the mouth producing an excessive amount of saliva. Other problems that arise in humans after digesting azaleas are low blood pressure, low heart rate, blurred vision, vomiting, hallucinations, and seizures. The danger of death is low for adults as compared to children.

Toxicity to Pets

All the species of azaleas and every part of the plant are quite toxic and damaging for pets. If you are adding a few pots of azalea to your balcony, keep a close eye on the pets of your house. They are poisonous for cats, dogs, sheep, goats, and horses. If a pet even consumes part of the plant that is 0.2% of their body weight, it can cause serious illness in them.

Signs of Poisoning in Pets

If your pet consumes a flower or a part of an azalea plant, there are a few signs and symptoms that will help you figure it out. A few symptoms include the animal drooling more than the normal amount, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, or depression. These signs are not very noticeable. The noticeable signs start when it gets worse. If the toxicity worsens, the pet will start vomiting, have difficulty walking, get lethargic, face seizures or tremors, coma, or get really weak.

Effects of Poisoning

If your pet consumes azalea flowers, the effects of toxicity are not quite noticeable in the first few hours. This is due to two reasons. The first reason may be that the pet only consumed a small portion of the plant, which is why the effect of poisoning may not be severe.

The second reason can be that the signs of toxicity in the first few hours are mild and not very noticeable such as drooling, loss of appetite, etc. However, as time passes, the symptoms will worsen and can even cause the animal’s death. So, the best thing to do in such circumstances is to get the animal to a doctor as soon as possible.

Treatments

If your cats or dogs ingest any part of azalea, the best thing to do is to get them to a veterinarian as soon as possible. The major mistake people make normally is forcing the animal to vomit at home to get the toxins out of their body. Making the animal vomit at home without any medication can do more damage to them rather than help them.

The veterinarian treats azalea poisoning by flushing the animal’s internal system with activated charcoal or saline. Both of these medications clean the animal’s gastrointestinal system and washes the poison out of the animal’s body. After flushing the toxins out of the animal’s body, the doctor will then give the animal IV fluids to treat the weakness caused by dehydration and low blood pressure. If there are any seizures or tremors, the vet will give separate medications to control that.

What to Do?

If you have both azalea plants and pets in your house, you need to get rid of one of them. If your pet consumes the plant, it can make them sick and will also damage your plant. However, I have a middle road for you. If the azalea is in your garden, you can move it to a pot. Put the pot in a spot that is out of reach of your pet. This way, neither will you need to get rid of the plant nor will you be endangering your pet’s life.

Related Azaleas Guides: Propagating Azaleas Plant | Saving Dying Azaleas Plants

FAQs

Can azaleas bushes kill a dog?

Every part of an azalea plant is harmful and poisonous for both animals and humans. If a dog consumes any part of the plant and is not given proper treatment in time, the poison from the plant can kill the dog. However, if treated properly, the dog can recover.

Is an azalea plant toxic to pets?

An azalea plant is harmful and toxic to both humans and animals. This plant can poison many animals, including dogs, cats, horses, sheep, and goats. Even consuming a few leaves from the plant can make pets sick and can even cause their death.

Conclusion

The poisonous nature of an azalea plant really ruins its beauty. They are quite deadly for pets. It gets quite difficult to find out whether your pet has consumed any part of azalea or not. To help you in this dire situation, I have listed all the signs and symptoms of azalea poisoning that will help you figure out what is happening to your pet.

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