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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.

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

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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
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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, reflexes, body temperature, blood pressure, height, weight, heart rate, oxygen level, and respiration rate.

Some laboratory tests that your veterinarian will do are a complete blood count (CBC), blood gases, biochemistry profile, electrolytes, glucose test, 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.

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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

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Daddy is a Yorky mommy has a Maltese Japanese chin

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Daddy is a Yorky mommy has a Maltese Japanese chin 7 yrs okd

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Unknown severity

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2 found helpful

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Unknown severity

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Want To Eat Grass

Can dogs have aloe juice?

Aug. 6, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Gina U. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello Aloe juice can cause diarrhea as it can act as a laxative. But it is not toxic.

Aug. 6, 2020

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Chihuahua

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Six Months

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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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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0 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

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Fair severity

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1 found helpful

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Fair severity

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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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3320 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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Kalita

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Toy chihuahua

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15 Years

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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Shack For Awhile Than She Get Ok

I heard that it was good for dogs with sizure if you give it with the food it will help stop the sizure attack is aloe Vera ok to give are dog it seem to help her or what can I give her cause can't get no Med for her no money what more can I give her please help her

April 26, 2018

Kalita's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Aloe vera is toxic for dogs and I cannot recommend any use of aloe vera unless it is with a product specifically intended for dogs. If you have financial issues, you should try to reach out to charity clinics and nonprofits to see if they are able to assist with the cost of medication. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.dogingtonpost.com/need-help-with-vet-bills-or-pet-food-there-are-resources-available/

April 26, 2018

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Petty

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terrier

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7 Years

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Serious severity

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1 found helpful

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Shaking

Good day dear Vets I've got a 7-year old dog with seizures,I've heard that Aloe Vera is good for him! But seems it was totally wrong... I'd appreciate if you can please let me have your comment.

Feb. 24, 2018

Petty's Owner


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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Thank you for your email. Aloe vera can be quite toxic to dogs if ingested, and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and urinary problems. It would be best not to give Petty aloe vera, and to continue to follow your veterinarian's advice on the management of his seizures. I hope that all goes well for him.

Feb. 24, 2018

Hello, whole leaf aloe is toxic, but if you have inner fillet pure cold pressed aloe, such as the kind I distribute, it is safe. We have a Vet on the Board of Directors and he has many video's "Dr. David Urch" on the benefits of this specific Aloe Vera, drinking it and using it topically, BUT I must stress, it is inner fillet only, not the outer leaf that is what is toxic because of the Saponin.

May 7, 2018

Danielle F.


What can we give are dog for sizure can't get Med.dont have the money is there some other way to help are dog

April 26, 2018

Elvida B.


Dear Dr. King Many thanks for your prompt reply. The case is that phenobarbital is affecting Petty's livers and I'm just trying to find another way to control his seizures. I read somewhere that Kbrovet is good for him but it's not available here in our country. I would be really thankful if you can just suggest me an alternative for phenobarbital. With the Best Regards Javad

Feb. 25, 2018

Petty's Owner

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ollie

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small crossbreed

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2 Years

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Fair severity

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None

Hi my backyard has a big aloe vera bush. Even if he does not consume it, does exposure to the plant induce harm to my dog? Is there a way to prevent the risk of my dog from wanting to consume aloe vera? And if he consumes it is it easily curable? If he consumes it is it deathly?

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O.z.

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Miniature Pinscher

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11 Months

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Mild severity

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1 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting

I brought home a piece of aloe vera plant approx 3 inches long. My 11 month old min pin chewed it a little before i got it away from him. 3 days later he started vomiting. Would it take that long to show symptoms? I am sick atm so i thought he might've caught what i have. I have been feeding him pumpkin and rice for a day now and he seems better. I gave him one of his stomach pills (Famotidine, which was leftover from a previous stomach upset). I'm going to keep him on the pumpkin and rice feeding for another day or two. Any advice would be greatly appreciated

Aloe Vera Poisoning Average Cost

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

Average Cost

$800