What is Seaside Daisy Poisoning?
Although there is very little known about this plant’s toxicity, the natural insect repellant and insecticide found in the seaside daisy is believed to be the source of its poison. Consuming any portion of the seaside daisy by a feline will result in poisoning, identified by clinical signs of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The seaside daisy is mildly toxic and feline ingestion of the plant rarely results in a life-threatening condition.
The seaside daisy is a member of the Asteraceae family and is known throughout the world by its scientific name, Erigeron speciosus. The seaside daisy is commonly called fleabane, horseweed, showy daisy or showy fleabane. The seaside daisy is an herbaceous perennial plant that can be identified by its nearly two inch wide flowers that sit heavily on the plant’s 6 to 30-inch tall stems. The narrow petals of the seaside daisy are white, lavender or pink and encircle the large yellow to orange center. The seaside daisy contains a natural insect repellant that many homeowners take advantage of and actively grow the plant around their home to repel nuisance insects.
Symptoms of Seaside Daisy Poisoning in Cats
Seaside daisy poisoning in cats causes a mild form of toxicity, which usually subsides in one to twenty four hours after ingestion. Consuming the plant will upset the feline’s stomach, resulting in nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The feline may refuse to eat after becoming sick and appear depressed due to the discomfort of gastrointestinal upset.
Causes of Seaside Daisy Poisoning in Cats
Seaside daisy poisoning in cats is caused by the ingestion of any portion of the herbaceous plant, including the roots, stem, leaves, petals or pollen. The specific toxin of the seaside daisy is unknown, but the plant is known to contain natural fungicides and insect repellants. The seaside daisy plant uses these naturally occurring chemicals to protect itself, which affect any insect or pet that decides to consume it.
Diagnosis of Seaside Daisy Poisoning in Cats
Diagnosing a case of seaside daisy poisoning in cats is difficult as there is no specific test available for identifying this type of toxicity. Your veterinarian’s diagnosis will be based on ruling out other possible causes of your feline’s current condition that could cause symptoms similar to that of a Seaside Daisy poisoning. The diagnostic process will begin with a physical examination, a review of the feline’s medical history and a consultation with the pet owner. The veterinarian may want to conduct a series of diagnostic tests to ensure your cat is truly suffering from case of toxicity and not an underlying health condition. Diagnostic tests the veterinarian will likely request include:
- CBC (complete blood cell count)
- Biochemical profile (blood work)
- Blood smear test
- Urinalysis (examination of urine)
- Fecal floatation test
- Fecal examination
Treatment of Seaside Daisy Poisoning in Cats
Seaside daisy poisoning in cats is treated by removing the plant from the feline to prevent further ingestion and eliminating the toxins from the cat’s body. In many cases, veterinary care will not be necessary for a seaside daisy feline toxicity. However, if your cat has not expelled the toxic agent or does not improve, veterinary care is highly recommended. To eliminate the undigested toxin from the cat’s stomach, an emetic drug may be administered to encourage the feline to vomit. If your cat has not vomited, activated charcoal may be used to bind with the toxic chemicals within the digestive tract. The feline’s treatment may end with intravenous fluids, as vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration.
Recovery of Seaside Daisy Poisoning in Cats
The prognosis for a seaside daisy poisoning in cats is guarded to good and depends greatly on the amount of plant material consumed. In most cases, if the feline is not allowed to consume any more of the plant material, the feline will recover in roughly 1 to 24 hours. As with all plant toxicity cases, the earlier the feline is admitted to the veterinary hospital, the greater chance she or he has of making a full recovery. The best way to prevent a seaside daisy poisoning in cats is to remove the plant from your cat’s environment if possible.