Bloodroot Poisoning in Dogs

Bloodroot Poisoning in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost
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Bloodroot Poisoning in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Prepare for unexpected vet bills

What is Bloodroot Poisoning?

The bloodroot plant is an herbaceous plant with white flowers. When cut, the stems exude a red-orange sap. Bloodroot is used as an herb and grows naturally throughout the United States. This plant has been used by Native Americans to treat ringworm and sore throat, as well as repel insects.

While this plant does have some good medicinal qualities for humans, it must be kept out of reach of animals. The entire bloodroot plant is toxic to dogs, especially the stem and roots. If you see your pet eating or chewing on this plant, contact your veterinarian immediately.

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Bloodroot Poisoning Average Cost

From 40 quotes ranging from $250 - $5,000

Average Cost

$500

Symptoms of Bloodroot Poisoning in Dogs

If your dog ingests part of this plant, they may quickly develop signs of toxicity. Symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Fainting
  • Shock
  • Coma
  • Organ failure
  • Eye irritation
  • Death

The severity of the symptoms will depend on how much and which parts of the plant your dog ingested. If you suspect or know your dog chewed on or ate a part of this plant, contact your veterinarian immediately, even if they aren’t showing symptoms of toxicity yet. 

Types

The bloodroot plant’s scientific name is Sanguinaria canadensis, but it also goes by the common name of red puccoon. This is a stout plant with large leaves. The yellow and white flower is 1 to 2 inches in diameter with 8 to 16 petals. Four of the petals are usually longer than the rest. This flower bears a fruit in the form of an elongated capsule that grows up to 2 inches long.

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Causes of Bloodroot Poisoning in Dogs

While this plant has natural anti-inflammatory properties and can be used as an antiseptic and diuretic, it needs to be used cautiously. This plant contains a compound called sanguinarine which may initiate cell death in certain tumor cells in humans. However, more research is needed to confirm its potential as a cancer treatment. Additionally, the FDA has not approved any cancer treatment products containing the compound.

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Diagnosis of Bloodroot Poisoning in Dogs

When your dog first arrives at the veterinarian, the team will begin with a physical exam. This will allow the doctor to get a good baseline of vitals. The veterinarian will want to run lab work to get a good idea of how your dog’s internal organs are handling the toxin.

The team will run a complete blood count (CBC) and chemistry panel, as well as a urinalysis to check the kidneys. Depending on what the veterinarian finds, more tests may be ordered. If your dog is having heart abnormalities, the vet may do an ECG to check for developments of arrhythmias and to keep a close eye on the heart. Whenever possible, bring in the plant your dog ingested; this will allow the veterinarian to diagnose the toxin quickly and without error.

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Treatment of Bloodroot Poisoning in Dogs

When all the lab results are in, the veterinarian will be able to determine what treatment is best for your dog. Your dog will be moved to a calm, quieter place where they can receive proper care.

Your dog will most likely be put on fluid therapy to flush out the toxin quicker. If your dog is vomiting uncontrollably, an antiemetic will be given. If your dog is experiencing eye irritation, the veterinarian  will flush them and apply the proper medication. Any other symptoms your dog is suffering from will receive some type of supportive therapy.

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Recovery of Bloodroot Poisoning in Dogs

The severity of this toxicity is related to how much of the plant your dog ingested. Of course, the status of your dog’s health prior to ingesting the toxin will play a part in recovery as well.

If your pet was healthy to begin with and medical attention was sought out immediately, chances of recovery are good. However, if your pet already had an underlying health problem, such as renal failure, chances of recovery decrease since flushing out any toxin is hard on the renal system.

The best thing to do is get your dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible no matter how healthy they normally are. Also, if you notice your dog chewing on or eating a plant you don’t recognize and then they begin to act strangely, take them to the clinic as soon as possible. The sooner you receive medical help for your dog, the better the outcome will be for everyone involved.

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Bloodroot Poisoning Average Cost

From 40 quotes ranging from $250 - $5,000

Average Cost

$500

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Bloodroot Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Bloodroot Poisoning Average Cost

From 40 quotes ranging from $250 - $5,000

Average Cost

$500

Vet bills can sneak up on you.

Plan ahead. Get the pawfect insurance plan for your pup.

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