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The dog daisy is a flowering plant that can be called the dog fennel or is sometimes known as yarrow. The genus the dog daisy belongs to contains multiple species, some said to be beneficial medicinally, such as actual yarrow, but some, such as the dog daisy, are said to be toxic. You must be very cautious if you have any type of plant from the same genus as the dog daisy in or around your home. If ingested, the dog daisy can lead to mild or moderate symptoms of toxicity ranging from gastrointestinal irritation to change in urination patterns indicating a possible change in kidney function. The sooner you seek supportive medical attention for your dog, the higher his chances of a full recovery with no long term side effects.
The dog daisy is a plant found in many gardens and dried flower arrangements. While it may be pleasing to look at, it can be toxic to your dog if he ingests it. If you believe your dog ingested any part of this plant, contact your veterinarian.
Symptoms of dog daisy poisoning may manifest in different ways when ingested by dogs. Symptoms of poisoning may include
When you look up the dog daisy by its scientific name of Achillea millefolium in the Compositae family, you will find it goes by two different other common names depending on what your source is. It can also be called dog fennel or yarrow. Yarrow has many beneficial medicinal properties but the dog daisy is said to be slightly toxic. With these names used interchangeably, it leads people to believe they have a dog safe plant when in reality it is not.
The dog daisy comes in a variety of colors and grows to about 3 feet tall. It produces a flower head consisting of clusters of smaller flowers. It is native in some regions of North America, but it has also been introduced in many areas.
The dog daisy produces achilleine and alkaloids which gives it its toxic principles. Alkaloids from this plant can affect your dog in two different ways. Your dog can have a reaction similar to that of a human on caffeine or drugs, or it can have the complete opposite effect leading to a calming response in your dog acting like a sedative. Either way, decontamination should be started as soon as possible to avoid possible long-term side effects.
When you first arrive at the veterinary clinic, a physical examination of your dog will be done to start the diagnostic process. This will allow the team to assess his symptoms and observe your pet’s vitals. If your dog vomits while at the clinic, the veterinarian will examine the contents for any evidence as to what he ingested. Blood work will be performed to give the veterinarian an informed analysis as to how the internal organs are functioning. A complete blood count (CBC) and chemistry panel will provide the veterinarian with needed information for proper assessment. The veterinarian may also perform a urinalysis for further evaluation of kidney function. A packed cell volume (PCV) may also be performed to determine the hydration status upon arrival.
If your dog has increased urination, the veterinarian may want to take a radiograph or perform an ultrasound to have a look at his kidneys. This will allow her to look for any degree of enlargement, deformities or growths as a possible cause for the change in urination.
If your dog is experiencing any skin irritation, the veterinarian may take a skin scraping sample to rule out bacterial overgrowth or external parasites. If you believe or witnessed your dog chewing on the dog daisy, take a piece of it with you to the clinic. This will allow for proper identification of the plant your dog consumed and the toxin it contains.
If your dog is not already vomiting, your veterinarian may try to induce vomiting in your dog to empty his stomach of any remaining plant particles. If too much time has passed since ingestion, she may administer activated charcoal to bind to any remaining toxin before it is absorbed by the blood stream.
The veterinarian will also start your dog on fluid therapy. This will correct for any dehydration your dog may be experiencing due to the vomiting and diarrhea. It will also prevent any degree of dehydration from progressing. The fluids will also flush the toxin from your dog’s system quicker and speed up his recovery process.
If your dog’s skin is irritated in any way, the veterinarian may suggest bathing him with a mild shampoo to help remove any plant particles from the surface of his skin as well soothe any itching. She may apply medicinal ointment or cream to help with the irritation as well. Depending on your dog’s needs, additional therapies and medications may be given as your veterinarian sees fit.
Dog daisy toxicity in dogs may be considered mild to moderate. Most dogs recover well with supportive therapies. The veterinarian will provide him with the medical support he needs as you wait for the plant to be eliminated from your dog’s system. The veterinarian may want to keep him in the hospital overnight or until his laboratory work comes back normal.
Before bringing any plant into your home, be sure to do your research first. Because the dog daisy is known by several names causing its safety to be misleading, it is best to keep it out of your dog’s reach.
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