Boxwood Tree Poisoning Average Cost

From 28 quotes ranging from $250 - 3,000

Average Cost

$2,000

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What is Boxwood Tree Poisoning?

A boxwood is a flowering evergreen tree and is most often used in gardens or yards as shrubs or dividers. The entire tree is poisonous, both orally and topically, so it is best not to have them anywhere your dog will be. It does not take much to cause enough toxicity to be fatal without treatment if your dog is small (Toy Poodle, Shih Tzu) or not in good health. The alkaloid in the plant prompts congestion of the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and spleen which will eventually cause organ shutdown and death.

The Boxwood Tree is from the Buxaceae plant family, and contains alkaloids, which are toxic to dogs. While the entire plant is toxic, the leaves are especially poisonous to dogs and other small animals. These plants, commonly used as hedges, contain steroid alkaloids. The solanum-type steroid alkaloid in the boxwood are ethers that cause skin irritation with contact as well as many other symptoms, some serious, if eaten. For example, if your dog eats a significant amount (more than a few leaves), this will likely cause vomiting and diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration. In addition, if your dog is older than 10, or has any underlying health problems, just eating one leaf can cause significant stomach irritation, respiratory, and heart failure. This will lead to death if not treated right away, so be sure to take your dog to the veterinarian or animal hospital if your dog eats any part of a boxwood tree.

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Symptoms of Boxwood Tree Poisoning in Dogs

Symptoms differ depending on the method of exposure, oral or topical. For oral poisoning, the amount eaten can cause symptoms to differ as well.

Oral Poisoning

  • Colic
  • Coma
  • Confusion
  • Convulsions
  • Death
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Drooling
  • Extreme thirst
  • Heart failure
  • Inability to walk straight
  • Increased heart rate and breathing
  • Irritation or excitability
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Paralysis
  • Respiratory failure
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting

Topical Poisoning

  • Dermatitis
  • Excessive itching
  • Skin irritation
  • Skin redness

 Types

  • Oral boxwood tree poisoning is caused by the ingestion of any part of the boxwood tree.
  • Topical boxwood tree poisoning is caused by exposure of the skin to any part of the boxwood tree or anything containing parts of the boxwood tree.

Causes of Boxwood Tree Poisoning in Dogs

The cause of boxwood tree poisoning in dogs is exposure to the plant either directly or indirectly. On the skin, the liquid from the tree can cause irritation, redness, and itching. If eaten, boxwood tree toxin may produce vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and if not treated right away, possible respiratory failure and death.

Diagnosis of Boxwood Tree Poisoning in Dogs

If you saw your dog eat any part of a boxwood tree, go to the veterinarian or animal hospital immediately and try to bring a piece of the tree with you to show the veterinarian. This will help speed up the diagnosis so your veterinarian can start a treatment plan faster. A complete physical examination will be done, which includes body temperature, weight, heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate, breath sounds, and reflexes. The veterinarian will also take a look down your dog’s throat to see if there are any parts of the plant still in the airway. This procedure is usually done with an endoscope, which is a long, thin tube with a light and camera on the end. The veterinarian is also able to remove pieces of the plant with a clamp on the end of the endoscope.

Blood and urine tests will be done, including a complete blood count (CBC), blood gas, biochemistry profile, and liver enzyme count. If your dog has been vomiting, the veterinarian will want to do a radiograph of the abdomen to see if there are any residual parts of the plant still intact. An MRI, CT scan, and ultrasound may also be done to give the veterinarian a more detailed look at what is going on. An electrocardiogram (ECG) is sometimes necessary to measure the electrical and muscular performance of the heart.

Treatment of Boxwood Tree Poisoning in Dogs

Your dog will be given fluids through an IV and oxygen if needed when the veterinarian finishes the physical examination. Fluids help keep your dog hydrated and flush the system as well. If it has not been longer than two hours since your dog ate the boxwood, the veterinarian will use a medication to induce vomiting. She will also give your dog activated charcoal, which absorbs the toxins in your dog’s system so they do not do more harm while leaving the body. Stool softener and laxatives may also be given to get some of the toxins out that way. The veterinarian will probably administer atropine and continue to monitor your dog’s vital signs overnight.

Recovery of Boxwood Tree Poisoning in Dogs

The prognosis for your dog is excellent if you were able to get to the veterinarian for treatment right away. Recovery is not a long process, but your veterinarian may suggest cage rest for a few days. Call your veterinarian if you have any concerns or questions. Make sure you get rid of your boxwood trees or block access to them so your dog does not get sick again.

Boxwood Tree Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Maui
Jack Russell Terrier
6 Years
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Vomiting
Red diarrhea

Hello, I do not know how this works but I recently asked a vet the same question on your website and he told me he did not have much experience with boxwood tree poisoning in dogs so I wanted to see if I could ask again and see if I would get another answer from a different vet. My dog had red diarrhea and he did vomit a brown color. Are any of those symptoms in boxwood tree poisoning? Do you think we should take him to the vet is he does any of that again?
Thank you for your time
-Maui's Owner

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
Hello again, I am the only Veterinarian answering questions through this site, I would recommend visiting your Veterinarian or an Emergency Veterinarian since Maui has red diarrhoea and is vomiting which is indicative of gastroenteritis which is a symptom of boxwood tree poisoning. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Ok thank you. I am sorry for that I did not know that you were the only vet answering questions.

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Nala
Labrador Retriever
9 Weeks
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Vomi
Vomiting

My 9 week old puppy ate a few leaves off a boxwood plant a few hours ago. She vomited and I saw a few leaves in it and she has had regular bowel movements. She has been acting normal and has been playing as she usually does. Do you think the vomiting was enough to get it out of her system?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Boxwood can be very toxic in small amounts to young or small dogs, and can quite a serious toxicity. It would be best to have Nala evaluated by a veterinarian as soon as possible to determine if she needs any further treatment. I hope that everything goes well for her.

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Maui
Jack Russell Terrier
6 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Vomiting
Red diarrhea

I am pretty sure that my dog ate boxwood tree. He is not drinking but he did eat. He vomited a brown color with some of the boxwood tree in his vomit and he had diarrhea that was red. Do you think he has Boxwood Tree Poisoning? Should we take him to a vet?
Thank you.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
I am not familiar with boxwood tree poisoning (from first hand experience), but it is a good sign that Maui has vomited up some of the consumed tree; symptoms normally consist of vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and may cause an increase in thirst. I would try to make sure that Maui is hydrated, even if you need to syringe it into the mouth. If you have any concerns visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/boxwood-tree/

Thank you for your response. Do you think we should take him to the vet if he vomits more and has more diarrhea? Or do you think we can treat this our selves?
Again Thank you.

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