What is Bobbins Poisoning?
The bobbins plant is part of the Araceae family and is known by the the scientific name of Arum maculatum.The bobbins plant is native to Northern Africa and Europe and is found both inside and outside the home, and grows well in the wild also. It flowers in spring, followed by berries which are red in color.
If your dog loves to dig in the garden area of your home or if he chews and grazes on plants while on walks, poisoning may occur if he chooses to sample this plant. Toxicity in the form of burning of the mouth, throat, and tongue can occur due to the raphides that are injected into the tissue as the plant is consumed. Skin damage and eye irritation are also possible with exposure to the calcium oxalate crystals. Fortunately, the pain experienced upon first bite is often enough to warn a dog to leave the plant alone.
The bobbins plant is one of the many species of plants found in gardens and homes that contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, which are sharp and tissue-penetrable, projecting into the soft tissues of the mouth, lips, tongue and gastrointestinal tract when chewed or swallowed. A visit to the veterinarian is needed when a canine ingests the bobbins plant.
Book First Walk Free!
Symptoms of Bobbins Poisoning in Dogs
The pain from the calcium oxalate crystals is instantaneous, preventing most dogs from experiencing severe poisoning. There are some canines however, who will continue to bite on the bobbins plant and may even swallow enough of it to cause pain and burning down the throat and into the stomach.
- The bobbins plant can cause swelling of the tongue so intense that breathing becomes difficult due to airway obstruction
- Your dog may experience burning and feel numbness in his mouth
- If your pet ingests the plant, the pain may be felt in the throat and stomach
- Excessive salivation is a sign of pain
- Your dog could vomit and have abdominal pain
- There may be diarrhea
- If the eyes and skin are exposed, the eyes may water and the skin could be red
- The mucous membranes will be irritated
The bobbins plant is also known by several other common names.
- Adam and Eve
- Lord and ladies
- Cuckoo plant
- Cuckoo pint
- Wake robin
- Starch root
- Adder’s root
Causes of Bobbins Poisoning in Dogs
The ingestion of the bobbins plant can cause great distress for your pet due to the crystals that are needle-like.
- The intense pain can lead to anxiety as your pet tries to escape the pain
- The sharp, piercing calcium oxalate crystals will inject into the tissues immediately
- The crystals release histamines that cause the lips, tongue, and throat to swell
- Swelling can lead to difficulty breathing
- Pain relief is often needed
Diagnosis of Bobbins Poisoning in Dogs
Bring a sample of the bobbins plant to the clinic to show the veterinarian. If possible, try to give an estimate of how much of the plant was eaten. The time frame between the ingestion of the bobbins plant and the veterinarian appointment is a good point to note because the clinical team will be able to evaluate the toxic effects on your pet based on knowledge of the time lapse, and this helps them ascertain the level of severity.
Dealing with the oral pain will be done by rinsing the mouth, in an attempt to remove the calcium oxalate crystals. This will help to lessen the pain. The veterinarian may offer your pet ice chips to eat as the cold may help to alleviate the burning sensation. An examination of the mucous membranes and the eyes will be done once your pet is calm and feeling better.
The veterinarian may order blood tests and a urinalysis to verify if the poisoning has affected the organs in any way. Blood test results can also reveal how the toxicity has affected your pet’s general state of health by looking at enzymes and electrolytes. Ingestion of the bobbins plant can cause an airway obstruction if the swelling is intense; the veterinarian will need to monitor this possible development. A palpation of the abdomen will reveal if your dog is experiencing abdominal discomfort.
Treatment of Bobbins Poisoning in Dogs
The treatment procedure will depend on your dog’s present condition, and whether he ate a large quantity of the bobbins plant which is causing the tongue or throat to swell. If your dog is vomiting extensively, the veterinarian may begin intravenous therapy to prevent dehydration, which can easily occur with persistent emesis. Intravenous is useful in the event that additional medications are needed, like antihistamines, pain relievers, or gastroprotectants. The intravenous will also aid in the flushing of the kidneys and will ensure that the urine output is normal.
If your pet has eaten the plant but is not yet vomiting, emesis may be induced. This is important because your pet’s digestive system is not designed to process large quantities of plant material. Some canines will have difficulty eliminating the greenery through normal means. If this is the case for your pet, medication may be given that can help your dog pass the bobbins plant material in the stool. Ingestion of the bobbins plant by canines is not common, due to the immediate pain upon biting the plant. However, just chewing on the plant can mean tongue swelling and if this is the case, the veterinarian will want to monitor your pet until the swelling has abated before releasing your dog from the hospital.
Recovery of Bobbins Poisoning in Dogs
Bobbins poisoning can be serious and even though your pet may not have needed a long hospital stay, he may be stressed about the event nonetheless and will need a quiet place to rest as his health improves. In the meantime, make sure that all household plants are not within reach of animals and children. Removing access to the potentially toxic plants in the garden is important, particularly if your dog likes to eat greenery. Always research the toxicity dangers of new plants that you plan to purchase.