Begonia Poisoning in Cats

Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

Begonia Poisoning in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

Begonia Poisoning in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What is Begonia Poisoning?

Begonias are a common variety of flowering plant which are often utilized in flowerbeds and larger pots due to their large, colorful flowers. However, gardeners should be aware that despite its alluring appearance, the begonia can be surprisingly toxic if eaten. Cats and other small mammals are especially vulnerable to the effects due to the relatively small amount of begonia that will need to be eaten in order to cause damage and discomfort.

Youtube Play

Begonia Poisoning Average Cost

From 232 quotes ranging from $100 - $500

Average Cost

$250

Symptoms of Begonia Poisoning in Cats

Though begonia poisoning is not usually life-threatening, it can produce some fairly obvious symptoms. Owners who observe these signs should take their cat straight to a vet, lest more serious complications arise.

  • Excessive salivation 
  • Oral sores 
  • Redness around the mouth 
  • Swelling of the mouth and tongue
  • Licking the lips and grimacing
  • Vomiting 
  • Dehydration
  • Inability to swallow 
  • Refusal of food and water
arrow-up-icon

Top

Causes of Begonia Poisoning in Cats

The begonia plant contains large amounts of a substance known as oxalate. Once ingested, the oxalate crystals embed themselves in various tissues causing irritation and can break down into 'oxalic acid', which is also a potent irritant. The cat's body will attempt to avoid further irritation and damage to the digestive tract by vomiting and attempting to dilute the acid with saliva. Eventually, a quantity of the toxin will make its way into the bloodstream, taking it to the liver. This turn of events can be especially dangerous, as in sufficient quantities oxalic acid can induce catastrophic liver failure, leading to serious illness and even death.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Diagnosis of Begonia Poisoning in Cats

In order to make a complete diagnosis, the vet may need to run some tests to determine the exact nature of the substance the cat has ingested. These tests will usually include analysis of the blood and a physical examination. Notifying your vet about the cat’s potential access to the begonia plant can simplify diagnosis to speed up treatment. 

arrow-up-icon

Top

Treatment of Begonia Poisoning in Cats

Most cases of begonia poisoning are fairly mild, clearing up by themselves in roughly forty eight hours. The vet may however recommend a prescription diet, as these are both easier on the stomach and will help dislodge any oxalate crystals still lodged in the digestive system. Anti-inflammatories will be needed in order to reduce any swelling in the throat and ensure a clear airway. Additional drugs may also be required in order to protect the stomach lining. Depending on whether or not dehydration has set in, fluid therapy may also be needed.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Worried about the cost of Begonia Poisoning treatment?

Pet Insurance covers the cost of many common pet health conditions. Prepare for the unexpected by getting a quote from top pet insurance providers.

Recovery of Begonia Poisoning in Cats

The total recovery time for a severe case of begonia poisoning is typically fairly short, with most being resolved within the space of two weeks at a maximum and follow up appointments not usually being necessary. The reason for this is that the oxalate crystals quickly lose their potency, meaning that without ingesting more, the levels of oxalic acid in the body will quickly fade. This is good news for cats and their owners, as it means that the amount of time that exercise and normal feeding will be restricted for will be kept to a minimum. However, if there has been notable damage to the esophagus, then the vet may opt to temporarily install a feeding tube . This will prevent the cat from stressing damaged tissues in the digestive tract by swallowing, instead subsisting on a liquid diet until they are sufficiently healed.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Begonia Poisoning Average Cost

From 232 quotes ranging from $100 - $500

Average Cost

$250

arrow-up-icon

Top

Begonia Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

dog-name-icon

Mafia

dog-breed-icon

Tuxedo

dog-age-icon

10 Years

thumbs-up-icon

7 found helpful

thumbs-up-icon

7 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Swelling

My cat was rubbing against a begonia plant and now has a puffy red eye with inside eyelid exposed and covering about a quarter of the eye from the eyepoint. Washed with a washcloth and is getting better now. We have removed the plant. Does she need to go to the vet?

Aug. 5, 2018

Mafia's Owner

answer-icon

recommendation-ribbon

7 Recommendations

Certainly does sound like a contact allergy, make sure that you bathe her thoroughly with a mild cat shampoo to be on the safe side and flush the eye out gently with sterile saline. Monitor for improvement but if the swelling doesn’t go down you should visit your Veterinarian to be on the safe side. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 5, 2018

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Scenie

dog-breed-icon

domestic short hair

dog-age-icon

4 Years

thumbs-up-icon

21 found helpful

thumbs-up-icon

21 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Irritation

The cat ate a pink begonia flower. I called the vet but they were closing and couldn’t do anything until the cat exhibits signs of being sick. I tried to rinse the cats mouth out with water and gave her some provable. What is the treatment for begonia poisoning and how long until I see symptoms.

June 13, 2018

Scenie's Owner

answer-icon

recommendation-ribbon

21 Recommendations

Typically begonia poisoning resulting in immediate symptoms including vomiting and drooling; generally no treatment is needed and any symptoms which may present normally resolve without incident within a day or two. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

June 14, 2018

Was this experience helpful?

Begonia Poisoning Average Cost

From 232 quotes ranging from $100 - $500

Average Cost

$250

Need pet insurance?
Need pet insurance?

Learn more in the Wag! app

Five starsFive starsFive starsFive starsFive stars

43k+ reviews

Install


© 2022 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.