Umbrella Plant and Pets – How Poisonous to Dogs & Cats?

Umbrella is an ornamental plant that adds to the foliage of the house. This houseplant is usually preferred because of its highest growth rate, low maintenance, and low sunlight need. An Umbrella plant is a good option if you want to grow a plant indoors, but if you are a pet owner, you should avoid growing an umbrella plant indoors.

Umbrella Plant and Pets

Umbrella plants contain toxins that are dangerous for pets if consumed. My cat swallowed an umbrella plant, but luckily, I saved her by taking my cat to the vet immediately. So I have decided to write a review regarding an umbrella plant and pets, its adverse effects, treatment, and precautions.

Umbrella Plant cat

Is Umbrella Plant Poisonous for Cats?

The Umbrella plant is grown in African and Australian forests, but nowadays, it is produced as a houseplant because of its easy care and less maintenance. A few people know that this plant contains toxins that harm the cats if consumed. Cats are susceptible pets that can be affected by the hazardous effects of the umbrella plant.

Pet owners should know that the umbrella plant has alternate names like octopus tree, StarLeaf, schefflera, Australian Ivy palm, and parasol plant. While buying for a houseplant, a pet owner must not consider buying a plant with these names. In this way, you can save your pet from the consumption of umbrella plants.

Symptoms

Suppose the cat by mistake consumes a considerable amount of umbrella leaves. In that case, it might show the symptoms of vomiting, stomach upset, agitation, swelling around the nose and mouth, redness around the mouth, oral swelling, breathing problem, dilated pupil, and salivation in excess. If the cat is showing any of these symptoms, take the cat immediately to the vet. My cat was feeling unwell after it consumed an umbrella plant. It showed signs of diarrhea and oral irritation. I noticed these symptoms and rushed my cat to the veterinarian.

Diagnosis

The vet will properly examine the physical symptoms of the cat. You can help your vet by describing the plant, or you can also take a stem of a plant that your cat has consumed. It will help the vet in an accurate diagnosis. The umbrella plant contains toxins like insoluble oxalates, saponin, and terpenoids which will help diagnose the disease without performing further tests. The vet will then perform a complete blood test to notice any change in the blood cells. The vet will analyze the contents in the stomach of the cat for further assurance.

Treatment

The treatment will depend upon the cat’s condition or the amount of umbrella plant the cat consumed. The first thing a vet will perform is intravenous fluid therapy. This therapy will keep the cat hydrated and allow the cat to excrete toxins present in its stomach through urine.

The vet can also induce vomiting in the cat by using a small amount of hydrogen peroxide. In this way, most of the toxins of an umbrella plant will leave the cat’s body. In my cat’s case, the vet kept the cat for an overnight observation to make sure the cat showed no other complications. To ensure complete recovery, your vet may suggest you bring your cat for follow-ups.

Is Umbrella Plant Poisonous for Dogs?

The umbrella plant releases toxins that are dangerous for dogs. If your dog chews or ingests the umbrella plant, it might show agitation or oral swelling symptoms. The umbrella plant contains calcium oxalate that reacts with the stomach of the dog and results in a prolonged illness. If the dog consumes an umbrella plant, the calcium oxalate reacts with the lining of the mouth and causes swelling of the esophagus and throat.

Symptoms

If you have grown an umbrella plant in the corner of your house, your dog may consume it. The dog may show symptoms like drooling, pacing, swelling and redness of the mouth and nose, swelling of the esophagus and throat, stomach problems like diarrhea, agitation, and vomiting.

Diagnosis

If you notice these symptoms, take your dog to the veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment. First of all, your vet will ask for your dog’s complete medical history and perform a physical examination to confirm the diagnosis. For further confirmation, the vet will perform a full blood test, biochemical analysis, and urinalysis to check the level of toxins in the dog’s body.

If your dog shows symptoms of swelling, the vet will wash your dog’s face to alleviate some of these symptoms. If your dog has breathing difficulty or blocked airway, then in extreme cases, the vet will insert a tube to clear the airway without further delay. The treatment depends upon the amount of plant the dog has consumed.

Treatment

The vet will discuss a treatment plan with you. Once you approve it, the vet will start treating your dog. The treatment might contain decontamination. It is an essential method if your dog shows symptoms of swelling around the face, paws, or mouth. The vet will rinse these areas thoroughly with the detergent to alleviate the pain or swelling caused by the toxins of an umbrella plant. The vet may perform Gastric Lavage.

In this method, the stomach of your dog will be washed by inserting a tube into it. Medication, Iv fluid therapy, and full-time monitoring will help relieve the dog’s symptoms. The vet will keep your dog under overnight observation. You will also have to take your dog for follow-ups as recommended by your vet.

Umbrella Plant And Other Animals

Umbrella plants are poisonous for the cattle and goats as they eat these plants accidentally while gazing. These plants contain toxins that adversely affect the stomach lining and cause serious diseases, most commonly severe diarrhea and vomiting. The severity of the symptoms depends upon the amount of plant eaten by the livestock or goat. In general, umbrella plants are poisonous for animals as the toxins like calcium oxalate crystals affect the stomach tissues after consumption and can seriously ill the animal.

Related Umbrella Plant Guides: How to Grow & Take Care of Umbrella Plants

FAQs

Are Umbrella plants safe for cats?

No, umbrella plants are not safe for cats and can cause mild to severe symptoms. The mild symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, and irritation. In contrast, the severe symptoms include tremors, kidney problems, and respiratory diseases. The cat owner has to keep the cat away from an umbrella plant grown indoors or outdoors.

Is umbrella tree toxic to dogs?

Yes, umbrella trees are toxic to dogs as the leaves of umbrella plants contain toxins like insoluble oxalate (calcium oxalate), saponin, and terpenoids. If the dog chews or swallows the umbrella plant by mistake, it might get infected and show symptoms like drooling, irritation in the mouth, burning, or swelling of the nose and face.

Are umbrella plants toxic to pets?

Yes, umbrella plants are toxic to pets because of the toxins present in the plant sap. Cats and dogs can easily consume these toxins by chewing or swallowing umbrella plants. The toxins in this plant can negatively affect your pets’ health, and you may end up in the hospital. Therefore it is crucial to keep your pets safe from eating an umbrella plant.

Conclusion

Umbrella plants are the most common houseplant that is easy to grow and enhance the overall look of your room. Before growing this plant, you need to know its harmful effects on pets, especially if you are a pet owner. Take proper precautions while growing an umbrella plant. Keep the plant in a place not in easy reach of your pets to keep them safe from deteriorating their health. This review will help you know the adverse effects of an umbrella plant and what treatment to expect if your pet is affected by the toxins of this plant.

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