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What is Aloe Vera Poisoning?

The main active ingredient in aloe vera, saponin, is a group of molecules that bond to sugar and can cause serious problems in your dog’s system in various ways. The latex part of the aloe vera plant causes cramping, diarrhea, nausea, and dehydration. The ability to lower the blood sugar in dogs is especially dangerous, causing coma and death in some cases. When your dog eats part of an aloe vera plant, his body metabolizes the glycosides with bacteria found in the intestinal tract. This produces a compound that increases mucus and water in the colon, causing nausea and vomiting. If this continues, dangerous dehydration may follow, and can be fatal if not treated right away. It is best to take your dog to the veterinarian right away if you see or suspect that he has eaten any parts of an aloe vera plant.

Aloe vera is a fleshy plant with tall and serrated leaves, clusters of yellow flowers, and a gel inside that people use for burns and other medical properties. While the gel may be good for humans to use, it is definitely not for consumption by dogs. The plant contains a chemical called saponin, which is toxic to animals and children. Ingestion of aloe vera can cause excessive vomiting, severe diarrhea, and low blood sugar. In fact, the toxicity can be so extreme as to cause the breakdown of red blood cells, which can be fatal if not treated immediately. The latex, which is the inner skin of the aloe vera leaves, contains a powerful laxative that can cause dehydration from diarrhea.

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Aloe Vera Poisoning Average Cost

From 32 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,500

Average Cost

$800

Symptoms of Aloe Vera Poisoning in Dogs

  • Abdominal pain and bloating
  • Abnormal heart rate
  • Anorexia
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Coma
  • Dark urine
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Drooling
  • Head-shaking
  • High body temperature (hyperthermia)
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle twitches, spasms, or weakness
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Skin irritation (bumps, flaky skin, and hair loss)
  • Tremors
  • Incoordination
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss

Types

  • Acute aloe vera poisoning occurs when your dog consumes a large amount of aloe vera or a product containing aloe vera or latex
  • Chronic aloe vera poisoning occurs when your dog is exposed to aloe vera plants or products from the plant in small amounts over a period of time
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Causes of Aloe Vera Poisoning in Dogs

The cause of aloe vera poisoning can be from one large dose (ingestion) or from repeated topical and/or oral exposure. This can occur from many situations, such as:

  • Eating aloe vera plants
  • Eating or being fed products with aloe vera gel, supplements or latex
  • Constant exposure to aloe vera products in the environment
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Diagnosis of Aloe Vera Poisoning in Dogs

Be sure to let your veterinarian know if your dog has gotten into aloe vera plants, aloe products, or if you have been giving your dog aloe vera supplements. Bring the information with you to the veterinarian’s office in addition to your dog’s medical history, such as shot records, recent illnesses, injuries, and abnormal behavior. The veterinarian will do a complete physical examination, which includes vision and hearing check, a neurological exam, body temperature, blood pressure, weight, heart rate, oxygen level, and respiration rate.

Some laboratory tests that your veterinarian will do are a complete blood count (CBC), blood gas measurement, biochemistry profile, electrolytes,  urinalysis, and fecal examination. They will be looking for lower than normal red blood cell count, low glucose level, and decreased electrolyte levels.

The veterinarian will also get some radiographs (x-rays) of your dog’s abdomen and chest to look for damage or any indication of ingested plant material. If necessary, the veterinary team may need to perform an ultrasound and CT scan for a more detailed look at your dog’s abdomen. An endoscopy may also be done to look for any remaining aloe vera parts or products and to verify that your dog does not have an obstruction from eating the plant. In addition, your veterinarian may do an echocardiogram (ECG) to check your dog’s heart muscular and electrical activity.

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Treatment of Aloe Vera Poisoning in Dogs

Treatment includes decontamination by inducing vomiting and performing a gastric lavage to clean any remaining aloe vera from your dog’s stomach. Activated charcoal will also be given to bind to the aloe vera so it can be evacuated through your dog’s bowels without any further contamination. IV fluids and oxygen therapy will be administered to keep your dog hydrated and stable. Supportive care is the mainstay of treatment and most dogs so well given time.

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Recovery of Aloe Vera Poisoning in Dogs

How well your dog does depends on how much aloe they swallowed and how quickly they receive treatment. The faster medical help is given, the better the chance for recovery. Monitor your pet once home, and be certain to attend all follow-up appointments as scheduled by the veterinarian.

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Aloe Vera Poisoning Average Cost

From 32 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,500

Average Cost

$800

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Aloe Vera Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Chihuahua

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Six Months

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Unknown severity

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6 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Nausea

Eating aloe Vera and now throwing up and shaking

July 9, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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6 Recommendations

Hello, Aloe vera can be toxic to your dog. It would be best for you to take your dog to a vet as soon as possible. Chihuahua's can easily get dehydrated. Your vet can treat your dog for any toxic exposure. I hope your dog gets to feeling better soon.

July 9, 2020

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Bambi

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Pomchi

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3 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Nothing
Nothing Yet

My dog ate perhaps 4 small pieces of aloe Vera around 8pm and although she hasn’t shown any signs of being sick I’m worried . Any suggestions as to what I should do? Should I just wait and see if she shows any other signs of illness?

July 17, 2018

Bambi's Owner


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1 Recommendations

Ingestion of aloe vera leaves (not sure if they’re leaves or not) may result in an increase in activity of the gastrointestinal tract which may cause vomiting and diarrhoea with mucus; keep an eye on Bambi for the time being and visit your Veterinarian if any severe symptoms present. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/aloe-vera/

July 17, 2018

Bambi's owner if nothing has happened don't worry. Aloe Vera is very helpful in healing dogs. I know many dogs that have it every day for 8-10 years. Helps with tumors, eyesight, and skin issues plus much more. Look up Dogs Naturally Magazine they have at least 2 articles on the benefits of aloe vera for dogs.

Aug. 19, 2018

Steve B.

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Aloe Vera Poisoning Average Cost

From 32 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,500

Average Cost

$800

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