What is Chamomile Poisoning?
Chamomile has many beneficial qualities for humans and dogs. However, when ingested in large amounts or for a long period of time, it can lead to negative effects in your dog. In mild toxicity cases, your dog may just experience gastrointestinal upset. In more severe toxicity cases, your dog may experience bleeding tendencies with the potential for internal bleeding. If your dog ingested some chamomile or has been taking it long term, contact your veterinarian. In most toxicity cases, recovery goes well with supportive care. However, if your dog is experiencing a more severe toxic reaction, without veterinary care, the outcome may be fatal.
Chamomile is an herb that has been used for years due to is medicinal and relaxant properties. However, chamomile can cause toxicity in your dog if he ingests it. If you know your dog ingested chamomile or if you have given him small amounts long term but he is now acting strangely, contact your veterinarian.
Book First Walk Free!
Symptoms of Chamomile Poisoning in Dogs
Symptoms of Chamomile poisoning in dogs may vary from case to case. Toxicity symptoms may include:
- Contact dermatitis
- Bleeding tendencies
When many people hear ‘chamomile’, they think tea. Chamomile is an herb that has medicinal properties for humans and dogs. Scientifically, chamomile belongs to the Compositae family and goes by the scientific name Anthemis nobiilis. Chamomile is also known by the common names of garden chamomile, roman chamomile, true chamomile, barnyard daisy, ground-apple, turkey-weed, and manzanilla.
Causes of Chamomile Poisoning in Dogs
Chamomile contains multiple properties that lead to the toxicity symptoms in dogs. Chamomile contains volatile oil formed by the combination of bisabolol, chamazulene, anthemic acid, and tannic acid. While taken infrequently, chamomile can be beneficial in many ways. It can be used as a dewormer, as a sedative, and has antispasmodic properties. However, in strong or long-term doses, chamomile can lead to harmful side effects and even bleeding tendencies.
Diagnosis of Chamomile Poisoning in Dogs
A physical examination will allow the veterinarian to note any abnormalities of your dog’s vitals as well as analyze his symptoms. Blood work will be performed to give the veterinarian an idea of how well the internal organs are functioning. A packed cell volume (PCV) may also be performed to determine hydration status. Other tests may include a complete blood count (CBC) and chemistry panel to provide the veterinarian with needed information for proper assessment throughout the treatment as needed. If your veterinarian feels it is necessary, she may also perform a urinalysis for further evaluation of kidney function.
If your dog’s skin has a rash or is inflamed in any way, your veterinarian may take a skin scraping sample in order to rule out bacteria, fungus or external parasites. If your dog is vomiting at the clinic, the veterinarian will inspect the contents for any clues to the cause. If your dog is not vomiting, the veterinarian may induce vomiting to get him to expel the remaining stomach contents. If your dog is having diarrhea, the veterinarian will perform a fecal test to rule out the presence of internal parasites or bacterial overgrowth. If you believe your dog ingested chamomile, bring the source to the veterinarian’s office with you. This will allow for proper identification and will allow the veterinarian to know exactly what she is dealing with.
Treatment of Chamomile Poisoning in Dogs
Decontamination of the stomach and gastrointestinal tract is imperative. If your dog is not vomiting or if too much time has passed since ingestion to induce vomiting, the veterinarian may administer activated charcoal. This will bind to the toxin in your dog’s system before the blood stream can absorb any more of it. She may go as far as to flush your dog’s stomach if a large quantity of chamomile was ingested.
If your dog is experiencing any type of skin irritation, the veterinarian may wash your dog with a mild soap to wash the topical medication off your dog. A soothing medicinal ointment or cream may be applied to any areas inflammation to help heal it quicker. Depending on the symptoms your dog is experiencing, additional medications and therapies may be administered according to his needs.
Fluid therapy will be started to correct and prevent dehydration due to excessive vomiting and diarrhea. The fluids will also help flush the toxin from your dog’s system quicker. The veterinarian may also administer an appetite stimulant to get your dog to eat. If your dog has been receiving chamomile long term and is now suffering from bleeding tendencies, the veterinarian may administer Vitamin K or have to give a blood transfusion depending on the severity of the bleeding.
Recovery of Chamomile Poisoning in Dogs
Poisoning from chamomile in dogs may range from mild to severe. If this happens to your dog, the sooner you get him to a veterinarian, the higher his prognosis of a full recovery. If your dog is only suffering mild symptoms such as gastrointestinal upset, his recovery should go well with the help of supportive therapies. If your dog is suffering from bleeding issues, the prognosis for a full recovery declines greatly. If you ever notice your dog bleeding externally or seems to have bruising with no known cause, get him to a veterinarian. With proper medical care, your dog may recover.
Before you bring any herbs into your home or garden, be sure to do your homework as a pet owner. Also, if you are a chamomile tea drinker, keep it out of the reach of your dog to prevent any accidental ingestion.