What is Poison Daisy Poisoning?

Cats who ingest or come into contact with poison daisy may begin to vomit, develop itchy patches on their skin, or have diarrhea. Most cats do not eat a large amount of this plant because of its foul smell and unpleasant taste, therefore they usually do not ingest enough of the toxins to cause a severe reaction. Nevertheless, you should always take your cat to a veterinarian as soon as possible if you spot any of the symptoms of poison daisy poisoning.

The poison daisy, also known as the stinking chamomile and mayweed, is a foul smelling flower that grows wild throughout the United States. This type of plant contains various toxins, including chamazulene, anthemic acid, tannic acid, bisabolol, and volatile oil, so pet owners should keep their animals away from the poison daisy at all times.

Symptoms of Poison Daisy Poisoning in Cats

Symptoms of poison daisy poisoning will usually set in immediately after the cat has consumed the plant. In fact, your cat may actually stop eating the plant once he starts to experience some of the uncomfortable symptoms. Some signs of poison daisy poisoning you should look out for include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Allergic reactions
  • Contact dermatitis (skin irritation)

Causes of Poison Daisy Poisoning in Cats

Cats will develop poison daisy poisoning if they consume any part of the poison daisy plant, which is found in almost every part of the United States. The poison daisy plant is dangerous because it contains a number of different toxins, including chamazulene, anthemic acid, tannic acid, bisabolol, and volatile oil. 

Diagnosis of Poison Daisy Poisoning in Cats

If you notice your cat making contact with or eating a poison daisy, or if you see signs of poison daisy poisoning, take your cat to a veterinarian as soon as possible. If you can, bring a picture or sample of the plant so the vet can easily identify the cause of the symptoms and make a diagnosis. If you are unable to do this because you didn’t see your cat eating the plant, describe his symptoms to the vet in as much detail as possible. There is no test to diagnose poison daisy poisoning, so the vet will need you to provide as much information as possible to make the process easier.

The vet may choose to examine your cat’s stomach with an endoscope, which will allow him to see if there are any foreign materials that could be causing the symptoms. If your cat has any undigested poison daisy plant matter in his stomach, the vet should be able to identify it and diagnose the condition. 

Treatment of Poison Daisy Poisoning in Cats

The vet will begin to treat your cat’s condition immediately after he has made a diagnosis. However, treatment may not be necessary if your cat is not exhibiting severe symptoms.

If the vet decides to move forward with treatment, he may induce vomiting using a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution to remove the remaining poison daisy matter from your cat’s stomach. Activated charcoal may also be used to absorb any toxins that remain in your cat’s body before they enter the bloodstream.

Kapectolin and sucralfate can also be administered to coat your cat’s stomach lining and prevent further irritation. 

It’s possible that your cat is only exhibiting contact dermatitis after rubbing against a poison daisy plant. If this is the case, the vet will thoroughly bathe your cat to remove any other toxins that remain on the skin. Then, he will apply a topical cream to the affected areas to reduce swelling and relieve itching.

During treatment, your vet will need to keep a close eye on your cat to ensure he does not become dehydrated from vomiting. If dehydration is suspected, your cat will need to be hooked up to an IV to receive fluids.

Recovery of Poison Daisy Poisoning in Cats

Poison daisy poisoning is typically not severe, so your cat should make a full recovery from this condition. Most cats will be immediately released to their owners following treatment, but if your cat suffered from dehydration, he may need to stay a bit longer until he is in stable condition.

Talk to your vet about whether it is appropriate to make changes to your cat’s diet following treatment. Your cat’s stomach may be sensitive after treatment, so the vet may ask that you stick to softer foods for a certain number of days.

Finally, you should make every effort to remove poisonous plants from your home and garden. Talk to your vet about plants that are toxic to cats, and then make sure you do not have them near your cat. If your neighbors have these plants, it’s best to keep your cat indoors as much as possible so he is not exposed to toxins again.