Anyone who has both pets and plants will be aware that it’s important to pay attention to how dangerous a plant could be to your pet. Knowing what is and is not safe is crucial to protecting your cat or dog from harm, and that may leave you wondering, are Anthuriums safe for pets?
Anthuriums are not safe for pets, no. This plant contains calcium oxalate crystals and these are not safe for a cat or dog to consume. They will cause irritation and intense pain, and if your pet eats a lot of the plant, it may need to be taken to a vet to get treatment.
What Makes Anthuriums Dangerous To Pets?
Anthuriums contain crystals called insoluble oxalate crystals within their leaves and stems. When these are eaten, they penetrate the tissues in the pet’s mouth, causing irritation, swelling, pain, and distress. They are considered toxic plants, and you should not allow your pet to go near them, especially if it seems interested.
All Anthuriums are dangerous to pets, not just a few varieties, because they all contain these crystals. They are not deadly in most cases, but they are still considered a dangerous plant to grow when you have pets.
What Should I Do To Keep My Anthurium Away From My Pet?
If you have both pets and an Anthurium, you will need to keep the two apart. If you have a dog, you may be able to solve the issue by placing the Anthurium on a high up window or shelf so that the dog cannot reach it.
Keep the plant there, and make sure you always put it back if you have to lift it down for something, such as pruning or watering.
However, if you have a cat, you may need to take more action. Cats are excellent climbers and can also be very curious about plants, and may bat at and nibble an Anthurium if they can reach it. You will need to find a higher shelf that is not reachable from any other vantage points.
Alternatively, keep your Anthurium in a room that your pets rarely enter. For example, you may wish to keep it in a bathroom or study, especially if you can combine this with placing it on a high shelf.
Keep the door to this room closed or discourage your pets from going in there via training and deterrents. This should minimize the risk of your cat or dog eating the Anthurium. However, if either kind of animal shows persistent interest in the plant, consider rehoming your Anthurium to reduce the risk of an accident occurring.
It’s worth noting that if you have young children, the Anthurium should also be kept out of reach for the same reasons. Its pretty foliage and flowers may attract small hands and curious mouths, which could prove dangerous.
What Happens If My Pet Eats Some Anthurium?
In general, a cat or dog will not eat any notable amount of Anthurium because this plant usually causes immediate irritation and pain, and this will prompt the animal to stop nibbling at it before it does any harm. In these cases, nothing much will happen, and your pet will probably learn to stop trying to eat the Anthurium.
However, some pets will occasionally ignore these warning signs and will try to eat the Anthurium despite the discomfort it causes. If this happens, you will need to take your cat or dog to see a vet promptly.
Eating a lot of Anthurium can lead to:
- Loss of interest in food
- Distressed pawing at the mouth
- Hoarse barking or meowing
- Dilated pupils
- Irregular heartbeat
- Swelling of the animal’s tongue and lips
- Difficulty swallowing
In some rare cases, symptoms could become more serious as the irritation may cause the animal’s airways to close up, making it hard for the animal to breathe. This is not common but could be fatal. It is also possible for the plant to cause liver and kidney damage.
What Should I Do If I Think My Pet Has Eaten Some Anthurium?
If an accident does happen, make sure you stay calm. Although Anthurium is dangerous, it is unlikely to cause long-term harm as long as you act promptly. First, assess how much of the plant you think has been consumed, and check what symptoms your pet is showing.
If your pet seems to be in pain but has only eaten a small amount of the plant, clear away the plant, remove any residue that you can from your pet’s mouth, and call your vet for advice on the next steps. If there is any sign of the symptoms worsening, take it straight to a vet, even if your pet is not showing signs of breathing problems.
If your pet is struggling to breathe when you find it, book an emergency veterinary appointment and get it seen as soon as possible. Breathing problems could kill your cat or dog, and prompt action will be crucial.
Do not try to induce vomiting or treat Anthurium poisoning at home. This is not an appropriate or safe way to handle the situation, and could do more harm than good. Take a leaf of the Anthurium with you to the vet so that they can test it if necessary.
In the interim period, it is okay to give your pet some cool water to drink. This may help to alleviate any pain in the animal’s mouth and throat, and rinsing the mouth can help to get rid of the taste. If your cat or dog seems thirsty let them drink and see if this helps, but still contact a vet for advice.
How Quickly Does Anthurium Cause Symptoms?
Eating Anthurium can (but does not always) cause immediate symptoms in both cats and dogs. This plant’s insoluble oxalate crystals will often irritate the mouth as soon as the animal starts to chew and bite on them, and your pet might start showing signs of distress straight away.
Hopefully, this will deter your pet from eating any more of the plant, and may even encourage it to spit out what it has eaten. If it does not swallow any part of the plant, it is less likely to get severe symptoms, although it is still a good idea to see a vet.
If the pet does swallow some of the plant, the irritation is likely to continue into the digestive tract, causing extreme discomfort. Don’t ignore this, even if your pet’s breathing seems to be okay. Get help from a professional as soon as you can.
What If My Pet Has No Symptoms?
Anthurium poisoning may show quickly, but it can also take time to take effect. If you know that your cat or dog has eaten some of this plant but it does not seem ill, don’t be immediately reassured or dismiss the matter. Sometimes, it will take up to two hours for symptoms to show and your pet to start acting oddly.
How Will The Vet Treat My Pet?
The treatment will depend heavily on how much of the plant was consumed and how serious the reaction was. A minor reaction and small quantity of Anthurium might be treated with antihistamines, pain relievers, and water.
However, in more serious cases, the vet may need to induce vomiting, prescribe gastro-protective medications, and administer the antihistamine as an intramuscular injection. In some cases, your pet may need to stay at the surgery for observation and ongoing treatment, especially if it has had any breathing difficulties.
IV fluids may be required to reduce the risk of dehydration, and other medication may be prescribed, depending on the situation. Follow your vet’s guidance on what to do to ensure your pet recovers.
How Long Will Recovery Take?
This again depends on how bad the poisoning was. In some cases, a few hours will see your pet restored to full health. In other cases, it may take a few days. Sometimes, severe Anthurium poisoning will have long-term effects on the kidney and liver, which may take months to fully heal, or be permanently damaged.
Keep Anthurium plants well out of the reach of any pets in your household, as they are toxic and could cause serious reactions if consumed. If you cannot easily keep an Anthurium out of reach and your pet shows a persistent interest in it, consider gifting it to someone who does not have pets to reduce any risk of poisoning occurring.