What is Angel's Trumpet Poisoning?
Since this plant produces pretty flowers, many people have it not knowing how toxic it actually is to their pets. There are other common names for this plant such as moon flower, jimson weed, thorn apple, and Indian apple. The flowers are large and showy and produce a distinct fragrance. The leaves do give off a pungent smell which keeps most pets from nibbling on it, but not all pets. The plants also produce an ovoid, spiny capsule ‘fruit’ that split open when ripe to release numerous seeds. The pet usually eats the seeds off the ground, therefore making the pungent leaves useless. The entire plant is toxic to animals when ingested, but especially the seeds. If you believe your pet ate any part of this plant, it should be treated as a medical emergency.
Angel’s Trumpet is a common flower many people have in their gardens due to them being aesthetically pleasing. However, this plant is toxic to dogs when ingested. If you see your pet chewing on this plant or believe they may have ingested some, take your pet to the veterinarian immediately.
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Symptoms of Angel's Trumpet Poisoning in Dogs
Since the entire plant is toxic to the pet, if they eat any part of it, they might develop symptoms of toxicity. Symptoms include:
- Behavioral changes
- Dilated pupils
- Loss of appetite
- Change in heart rate
- Change in respiratory rate
- Decreased GI motility
- Death (rarely)
If you saw your pet around this plant earlier and is now exhibiting any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian.
There are 2 different genuses within the Solanaceae family that are both commonly known as ‘Angel’s Trumpet’, the Datura genus and the Brugmansia genus. While they are two different plants, they are both equally toxic.
Causes of Angel's Trumpet Poisoning in Dogs
The component of the plant that is so toxic is what is called tropane alkaloids. Veterinary medicine does use this natural compound in certain medications like atropine, but in its concentrated form of the plant and at unregulated amounts it can cause hallucinations and toxicity. Another tropane the plant has is called scopolamine. This is considered the more psychoactive of the two because it is able to cross the blood-brain barrier quicker. It is also believed the Datura genus contain alkaloids that produce neurotoxic effects.
Diagnosis of Angel's Trumpet Poisoning in Dogs
If your pet develops any of the symptoms listed above, or if you witnessed them chewing on or eating this plant, you need to get them to the veterinarian immediately. Your veterinarian will start with a physical exam to get baseline parameters so the team will know what vitals are abnormal. Your veterinarian may also want to run lab work to see how your dog’s internal organs are functioning. A complete blood count (CBC), chemistry panel and urinalysis are the most likely the tests that will be run since it provides a lot of information. If you saw or even suspect your dog ate a part of this plant, take it with you to the veterinarian’s office so she will know what she is dealing with.
Treatment of Angel's Trumpet Poisoning in Dogs
How your dog is metabolizing the toxin will determine what treatments will be started. Activated charcoal is sometimes administered to absorb and deactivate the toxin so the body doesn’t absorb it. If your pet is showing side effects of the toxin, further supportive therapy will be started. It is likely your pet will be put on monitoring equipment to keep track of heart rate and body temperature. If your dog is having seizures, the veterinarian will give an anticonvulsant medication to stop them. If your dog is vomiting uncontrollably with no production they will give an antiemetic, and if your canine is constipated the team will give medications, or perform an enema if needed. If your pet is experiencing behavior changes or disorientation, use caution when approaching and handling the pet; they may become aggressive due to the toxin. Keeping him in a calm, quiet place will help with this.
Recovery of Angel's Trumpet Poisoning in Dogs
The toxicity level of Angel’s Trumpet can range from mild to severe; it all depends on how much your pet ingested. While death does not happen often, it is always possible if your pet ingested a lot and didn’t receive medical attention. The quicker you can get your pet to the veterinarian, the better their chances for recovery. There is a good prognosis of recovery with proper treatment.
Angel's Trumpet Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
If I touch my trumpet tree then touch my dog or cat can it hurt them in any way? I wasn't aware of this being this toxic when I got this plant. I'm thinking about getting rid of it. My babies come first. PLEASE HELP!!!!!!
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