And it is that, despite being a very nice Christmas decoration, placing the poinsettia in a room in the home poses a threat to the health of your cat due to its toxic component through direct contact and also due to possible ingestion. to find out if the poinsettia is poisonous to cats and what the symptoms of poisoning are, at OneHOWTO we recommend that you continue reading this article.
Is Poinsettia Poisonous To Cats Or Not?
Before any type of doubt about the toxicity of the poinsettia towards cats, it really is for the irritating toxins that the plant contains. These toxins are called diterpenic esters and are derived from flavonoids, phorbol and euphorbons, with milky fluid or latex inside.
If the milky substance reaches the cat’s mouth, it causes irritation of the mucous membranes through which it passes, that is, first the oral cavity and then the pharynx and esophagus with continuity through the rest of the digestive system.
Toxicity can be produced by direct contact with the latex on the skin or eyes or by biting or ingesting the plant. If your cat eats the colored parts of the poinsettia, the red bracts, it can damage its digestive organs. This poisoning can also occur in dogs, but is much more common in cats.
What are the symptoms of poinsettia poisoning in cats?
The contact of the toxic substances present in the poinsettia with cat’s eyes can cause problems like:
- Eye discharge.
- corneal ulcers
If these substances have Skin contact can produce:
- Itching in the affected area.
On the other hand, if the poisoning is caused by a eating or biting the plant, symptoms in cats will be mostly digestive. They can be the following:
- Irritation to mucous membranes of the mouth and digestive tract.
- Dysphagia (trouble swallowing).
- Pharyngitis (inflammation of the pharynx).
- Glossitis (inflammation of the glottis).
When large ingestions of the poinsettia occur, intoxication in cats could cause delusions, tremors and, in extreme cases, coma.
What to do if my cat eats the poinsettia?
Go immediately to a veterinary center It is an obligation when your cat has eaten any part of the poinsettia or has had external contact with the plant and you see any symptoms or know that it has been with its whitish liquid. Thus, they will know how to apply the appropriate treatment to alleviate the symptoms.
External contact poisoning
If your cat maintains contact with the eyes or the skin of the toxic milky substance of the poinsettia, the treatments to follow will be the following:
- Eye Contact: wash the eyes with warm saline solution and apply specific eye drops with some drugs such as atropine, antibiotics that prevent infections and corticosteroids (dexamethasone) if there are no ulcers.
- Skin contact: wash the cat and use antihistamines and antibiotics for a week if it suffers from dermatitis.
If your cat eats the poinsettia, you should know that there are no specific antidotes to deal with the plant’s toxins. Therefore, one of the following measures is used:
- force diuresis hat is, the production of urine through hypertonic glucose or mannitol to help the body eliminate toxins.
- Use activated carbon for its enormous capacity to absorb toxins that have entered the feline body orally.
- As long as the intake of the plant has occurred in the last two hours, it can be induce vomiting while the cat is conscious. Even so, the animal can naturally vomit after ingesting the poinsettia. You can also make a stomach wash for the elimination of toxic components in the stomach.
Other poisonous Christmas plants for cats
Taking into account the toxicity of the poinsettia, it is important that you take precautions both with this plant and with other Christmas plants if you have cats. Other Christmas plants that are poisonous to cats are the following:
- Mistletoe: It is not very toxic, but a large intake of the mistletoe plant can cause serious damage to a cat. Therefore, you must place it in an area that is difficult for the animal to access.
- Christmas tree (fir or pine): its leaves are stiff and pointed, so they can pierce the intestine of cats. In addition, the sap from the tree and the water accumulated in the pot also pose a danger to feline health.
- Holly: Holly is a very toxic plant for cats, causing diarrhea and vomiting.
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