Houseplants can make any home look fresh and inviting. Unfortunately, many popular ones are dangerous to our feline pals. One you may be familiar with is the pothos plant. Also known as the golden pothos, devil’s ivy, taro vine, or ivy arum, the pothos is definitely not something you want Fluffy eating. Read on as a Burlington, ON vet discusses golden pothos poisoning in cats.
The golden pothos is a member of the Araceae plant family. This group includes several other unsafe plants which are toxic to cats, such as oleanders and philodendrons. The issue here is that the plants contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals. When your kitty bites into the plant, the crystals are released, and will penetrate her body tissues. These severely irritate your kitty’s mouth and throat, and can cause vomiting, swollen tongue, trouble swallowing, breathing difficulty, and gastrointestinal pain.
Signs of pothos poisoning usually appear pretty quickly. These may include drooling, vomiting, and pawing at the mouth. Fluffy may also withdraw and hide, and she may not be interested in her dinner. Contact your vet immediately if you notice any of these things.
The good news is that Golden pothos poisoning isn’t usually fatal. Most cats make a full recovery. However, it can be very painful, so your feline buddy would need to come in to the clinic right away. Your vet may rinse out your kitty’s mouth, to remove any remaining crystals. Fluffy’s stomach may need to be washed out, via a procedure called a gastric levage. Your pet may also need Benadryl, and she could possibly be dehydrated. Your vet will be able to discuss specific treatment options with you after examining your furry little plant-eater.
Although every case is different, it’s not unusual for Fluffy to be sent home after she’s been treated. Hopefully, she’ll already be feeling better! However, you may want to show your feline friend some extra TLC as she recuperates. Your vet may recommend keeping her on bland foods for a little while. Of course, you’ll also need to address the culprit: the plant itself. If you decide to get a different one, choose one that is pet-safe, like a Boston fern or Spider plant. You’ll find more options on the ASPCA site here.
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