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What is Dracaena Poisoning?

This plant flourishes indoors; it is a plant that can be found in offices, classrooms, and malls because it does best in warmer temperatures, needs a bright area but does not require direct sunlight, and does well in varying humidity. All of these factors make it ideal for indoor spaces. It also does well outdoors. This plant is very adaptable making it a very popular plant to have in your garden or home. What many people don’t realize though is that is toxic to dogs when they ingest it. 

Canines can show signs of dracaena poisoning such as weakness, drooling, and diarrhea. Symptoms are generally mild to moderate, though your pet can become dehydrated if he experiences frequent vomiting. Veterinary care is suggested any time that your pet ingests a toxic plant that causes him to become ill.

Dracaena is a plant common in many households due to the attractive vibrancy and green color. However, this plant is very toxic to your dog if he ingests it. If he does, you need to contact your veterinarian immediately.

Dracaena Poisoning Average Cost

From 71 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,500

Average Cost

$600

Symptoms of Dracaena Poisoning in Dogs

Since this is a popular plant, toxicity does happen frequently. Symptoms of toxicity include:

  • Vomiting (with possible presence of blood)
  • Diarrhea
  • Drooling
  • Stomach irritation
  • Intestinal irritation
  • Anorexia
  • Depression
  • Ataxia
  • Weakness

If you have a suspicion or see dog chewing on or eating this plant, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

Types

The dracaena plant is in the scientific family Agavaceae. There are forty different species of this plant with varying traits in each; all are toxic to pets when ingested. Most dracaena found in homes and businesses are the type that grows between 2 and 10 feet tall. This is a hardy plant that needs little upkeep making it the ideal plant to have indoors. This plant also goes by numerous common names like cornstalk plant, corn plant, lucky bamboo, money tree, ribbon plant and dragon tree.

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Causes of Dracaena Poisoning in Dogs

The toxic chemical in the dracaena plant is not well documented. Scientists believe the plant contains steroidal saponins that cause the toxicity symptoms. Saponins have foaming properties which lead to the gastrointestinal upset we may see in our pets after ingestion, and also taste bitter which causes the loss of appetite. Even though this plant does have these natural deterrents, some animals still insist on eating them.

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Diagnosis of Dracaena Poisoning in Dogs

When you arrive at the clinic, the veterinarian will perform a physical examination on your pet. This will allow her to check your dog’s vitals and note any symptoms he is exhibiting. Blood work, such as a complete blood count (CBC) and chemistry panel, may be run to ensure your dog’s internal organs are still functioning properly. A packed cell volume (PCV) test will likely to be ordered to see if, and by how much, your dog is dehydrated. The veterinarian may also do a urinalysis to check kidney function. Any other type of blood work or diagnostic testing will be on a case by case basis since most toxicity cases do not result in life-threatening side effects. When possible, bring in a part of the plant when you go to your veterinarian. This will allow the team to know exactly what they are dealing with.

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Treatment of Dracaena Poisoning in Dogs

Treatment will depend on what toxicity symptoms your dog is showing. The PCV results will let your veterinarian know how much corrective and supportive fluids your dog needs. In most cases, putting your dog on fluids is the first step of treatment whether they are dehydrated or not. This will help the toxin to be flushed out of the dog’s system quicker. Specific fluids may be given to correct an electrolyte imbalance if one has developed. Other types of supportive therapy will also be administered depending on your dog’s needs.

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Recovery of Dracaena Poisoning in Dogs

The toxicity of dracaena poisoning in dogs is considered mild to moderate depending on how much your dog consumed. Recovery prognosis is good if proper medical attention was sought out in a timely manner. Even if your dog is showing only mild symptoms of toxicity, it is always a good idea to contact your veterinarian. Some dogs recover well at home, but others need medical help; especially if there is excessive vomiting and diarrhea as dehydration is likely. This can be remedied easily with very little stress for your pet.

Educate yourself before you bring a new plant into your home or into an area your dog frequents. If you have this plant, be sure you keep it out of your pet’s reach even when he is standing on his hind legs. Regularly prune the wilted and fallen leaves. If you have this plant outside, consider putting it in an area your pet does not have access to. Prevention of ingestion of this plant is the wisest choice and safest for your canine companion.

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Dracaena Poisoning Average Cost

From 71 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,500

Average Cost

$600

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Dracaena Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Shih Tzu

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Five Years

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Unknown severity

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2 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

None

He chewed on a dracaena, I don’t think he swallowed it

Aug. 4, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. That plant can be toxic to dogs, and can cause GI upset. If you see any signs of vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or loss of appetite, it would be best to have your dog seen by a veterinarian. If you do not see any of those signs, your dog may not have eaten enough to have any kinds of side effects. I hope that everything goes well with your dog

Aug. 4, 2020

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Baby

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Boxer

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5 Months

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Wobbly; Unconscious; Pale Gums;

We suspect that our 5-month-old boxer may have recently suffered from eating this houseplant (but we are not certain). She had sudden onset of wobbling then fell over, and then completely passed out - I honestly thought she was dead. She was not breathing or moving - not shaking (wasn’t seizure), no vomiting, no diarrhea. Just suddenly fell over. I rushed her to our vet and she was given IV treatment immediately; her gums were pale; bloodwork showed liver enzymes were in 600s at initial workup; they increased to >1000 later that day. She stayed overnight and on IV for another full day. We are feeding small portions of bland canned food and giving medicine to help w liver 1x per day (Denamarin?). Liver enzymes back down now in 600s and we’re rechecking every few days. Good news is that our puppy is behaving like nothing is wrong - back to her old self. Playful, alert, eating. Could this plant have caused this event? I know found her chewing on several leaves of this about an hour before she became ill. She has chewed on it many times in the past and I honestly didn’t realize it was toxic until we tried to figure out what might have caused this event.

April 10, 2018

Baby's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

As far as I am aware, dracaena poisoning doesn’t affect the liver; although there are many different species of dracaena plants and I don’t know all of them. A poisoning event (whether dracaena or not) may be responsible for these symptoms but I cannot say with certainty; you should look around your home and remove any plants you have inside and outside to ensure that Baby doesn’t consume any more. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/dracaena/

April 11, 2018

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Horse

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Spanish Water Dog

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6 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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Serious severity

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Two horses, not eating but shewing on them......can they get poisened slowly over month? First,did not walk forward,startet to kick and buck, senitivity in the body, defected sight, reacts stongly between light and dark, swollen bodie,swollen mussles and shiver and shake,do not want to walk uphills,iretated while thugh.walks like drunk,no balans,clicking joints and stiffness.

March 14, 2018

Horse's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Thank you for your email. Those plants are toxic to most species, yes. It would be best to have your horses seen by a veteriarian to determine if any long term damage has occurred, and get treatment for what is happening to them now.

March 14, 2018

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RORY

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Bichon Frise

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17 Weeks

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Mild severity

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1 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea

My 17 week old Bishon Frise has had diarrhea for 4 days, he has not had any vomiting and is eating fine, I have been searching the internet we have a dragon tree and he has been eating the leaves, what otreatment does he need?

Jan. 21, 2018

RORY's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

If Rory has just had bouts of diarrhoea, I would remove the plant from his reach and allow the plant to get out of his system; most cases of poisoning are mild with some gastrointestinal upset, if you notice more severe symptoms or there is no improvement in symptoms you should visit your Veterinarian for an examination to be on the safe side. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Jan. 22, 2018

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Bella

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Chihuahua

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14 Weeks

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

None

I have a 14 week old chihuahua that just chewed one leaf of a Dracaena marginata plant in our living room should we see a vet?? We are worried she shows no symptoms yet

July 26, 2017

Bella's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Symptoms of dracaena poisoning show fast with drooling being the first symptom; if Bella just chewed the leaf and didn’t consume any ensure that her mouth is washed out well and monitor her for symptoms of poisoning which are vomiting, diarrhoea and weakness (in addition to the drooling). Severity is usually low, but if you are concerned, you should visit your Veterinarian or call the Pet Poison Helpline. Also, it may be worth moving the plant somewhere it cannot be reached by Bella as dogs rarely learn if something seems tasty. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVMwww.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/red-margined-dracaena/

July 26, 2017

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uno

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bull mix

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12 Years

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Drooling Weakness Diarrhea

Is it only toxic if consumed? For example, I have this plant in my home and my dog displays a lot of the symptoms matched with this, he has never consumed it but it is right next to his bed. So is it just being in the home enough for it to still be toxic for them? Many thanks

Dracaena Poisoning Average Cost

From 71 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,500

Average Cost

$600