True Aloe Poisoning in Cats

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

What is True Aloe Poisoning?

The true aloe plant belongs in the Aloaceae family and has the scientific name of Aloe barbadensis. Other names for true aloe include Barbados aloe, medicine plant, aloe, octopus plant, candelabra plant and torch plant. 

Aloe is used by humans for medicinal purposes, but if true aloe is ingested by small animals, including cats, it has toxic effects. The toxins in true aloe include anthracene, glycosides, and anthraquinones. True aloe may encourage bowel movements and vomiting. Poisoning symptoms are generally mild, unless your cat has eaten a large amount of the plant.

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Symptoms of True Aloe Poisoning in Cats

Symptoms of true aloe poisoning include:

  • Change in urine color (urine becomes red)
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • In rare cases, tremors
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Causes of True Aloe Poisoning in Cats

Because true aloe contains glycosides, anthracene, and anthraquinones, classified as saponins, your cat should avoid it. The poisonous part of true aloe is the white latex, not the gelatin held within the leaves.

The saponins in true aloe work to increase the amounts of mucus and water in your cat’s colon. This leads to him developing abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and vomiting.

If you’re going to use aloe on your pets, purchase an aloe product that has the latex removed. It’s the latex in the aloe that is the toxin and irritant, both to your cat and to yourself.

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Diagnosis of True Aloe Poisoning in Cats

Once you realize your cat is sick from true aloe poisoning, it’s extremely important for you to get him to the vet just as soon as you can. Once your cat is on the exam table, your vet will carry out a full physical, which will include taking a full medical history.

If you know your cat ate from an aloe plant in your home, cut a sample for your vet and put it into a plastic bag. Your vet will want to test the aloe to make sure this is what is making your cat so sick.

Your vet’s diagnostic process will include taking a urine sample and blood for blood work. She may also have your cat X-rayed to make sure he isn’t suffering from organ damage or any other illness. If you have given your cat aloe for medicinal purposes, tell your vet, especially if you realize that the aloe hasn’t had the latex removed.

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Treatment of True Aloe Poisoning in Cats

The care your vet gives to your cat will be symptomatic, offering support so your cat begins recovering from his symptoms. The vet will want to remove all remaining aloe plant from your cat’s system, which may require the induction of vomiting. Once your cat has gotten rid of all plant material in his stomach, he may be given activated charcoal, which helps to neutralize the toxins still remaining in his digestive system. Once they have been neutralized, they will safely pass through your cat’s intestines.

Your cat may need intravenous fluids if he has become dehydrated. Oxygen therapy to increase the level of oxygen to all bodily organs may also be given.

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Worried about the cost of True Aloe Poisoning treatment?

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Recovery of True Aloe Poisoning in Cats

Your cat’s recovery depends on two things: how much aloe he ate and how quickly he was given veterinary treatment. He should recover fully as long as he receives prompt treatment.

If your cat does suffer organ damage, his recovery will take longer and it will be more difficult. Your vet may require that you take your cat to her office for follow-up appointments. Once he comes home from being treated, give him a quiet place where he can rest and recover.

True aloe poisoning can be expensive to treat. To avoid high vet care expenses, secure pet health insurance today. The sooner you insure your pet, the more protection you’ll have from unexpected vet costs.

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True Aloe Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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cat

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3 Years

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24 found helpful

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24 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Vom

I believe my cat got into a alow plant that I didn't know poisonous a few days ago, he is still eating and drinking and using the bathroom just fine. He doesn't seem lethargic at all. But he was vomiting clear foamy liquid, the turned yellow foamy liquid. I looked it up and thought it was maybe bilious vomiting syndrome so I gave some extra food, since I was decreasing his food intake cause he has a habit of overeating thinking maybe that would help. Today he is throwing up food chunks, and some thicker brown liquid. I'm hoping this will pass.

Nov. 17, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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24 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Aloe plants can be quite irritating to the GI tract, and he may need medication to stop this vomiting. What you can do over the next day or two is try to feed him a bland diet of boiled white chicken and boiled white rice, and see if that settles his stomach. If he continues to vomit, then you should have him seen by your veterinarian, as there are medications that they can give to stop the vomiting.

Nov. 17, 2020

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Black haired cat

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Almost 5 months

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12 found helpful

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12 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Not As Playful As Usual

My cat has nibbled on an aloe plant, I am seeing a few nibbles here and there. I just learned that this plant is toxic. He is still drinking, and eating. He just isn’t as playful as he usually is. Should I keep an eye on him for now, or does something need to be done?? Thanks in advance

Sept. 25, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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12 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay in my reply, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. He may get back to feeling good once the aloe is removed. If he is still not feeling good, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get any testing or treatment taken care of that might be needed.

Oct. 19, 2020

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