What is False Queen Anne's Lace Poisoning?
False Queen Anne’s lace is a flower similar in appearance to Queen Anne’s lace, hence its name. It can be found in gardens and inside homes as a part of living or dried flower arrangements. The toxicity of this plant can be considered mild to severe depending on your dog’s sensitivity to it. Frequently, it only causes skin related symptoms but if left untreated, can lead to secondary infections due to extensive scratchin. Treatment is offered in the form of supportive therapies and recovery and is easy once your dog is properly diagnosed. If you believe your dog ingested a part of the False Queen Anne’s lace plant, alert your veterinarian.
False Queen Anne’s lace is a delicate flower many people have in their homes and gardens due to its pleasing appearance. This plant, however, is toxic to your dog if he ingests a part of it.
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Symptoms of False Queen Anne's Lace Poisoning in Dogs
Symptoms of False Queen Anne’s lace poisoning can vary from dog to dog. Symptoms may include
- Itchy skin
- Skin redness/irritation
- Photosensitization which can lead to ulcerative dermatitis and exudative dermatitis
- Lack of appetite
These symptoms can also lead to development of a secondary infection if not treated in a timely manner.
False Queen Anne’s lace closely resembles the Queen Anne’s lace, leading it to be commonly misidentified. False Queen Anne’s lace has a more delicate look to it and grows slightly larger with neater flower clusters at the head of the flower stem. These flowers last a long time in fresh and dried flower arrangements making them a popular addition in homes and gardens. The false Queen Anne’s lace is also known by the common names of bishop’s weed and greater ammi. This flower belongs to the Apiaceae family with the scientific name of Ammi majus.
Causes of False Queen Anne's Lace Poisoning in Dogs
False Queen Anne’s lace contains the toxin known as furanocoumarins. False Queen Anne’s lace is a photodynamic agent which leads to your dog possibly developing photosensitization when ingested. This property of the flower plus exposure to light causes the phytophotodermatitis. Scientists believe plants produce furanocoumarins for disease resistance.
Diagnosis of False Queen Anne's Lace Poisoning in Dogs
When you take your dog to the veterinarian, she will begin by performing a physical exam. Giving your dog a thorough exam before any therapies are started will give the veterinarian a proper assessment of his vitals and symptoms upon his arrival at the clinic. A complete blood count (CBC), chemistry panel, and packed cell volume (PCV) will provide the veterinarian with a broad look at how the organs are filtering toxin from the blood, and his hydration status. A urinalysis may also be performed for further assessment of the kidneys and to check the urine for any type of sediment.
Depending on the appearance of your dog’s skin, the veterinarian may take a skin scraping sample. This will allow her to look at it under the microscope and she will then be able to check for a bacterial infection or external parasites.
Other diagnostics will have to be on a rule-out basis. Since the symptoms are so unusual and rare to see on a daily basis, the veterinarian should be able to get to a conclusion relatively quickly. If you are unsure what the flower is but witnessed your dog ingesting it, take it with you to the veterinarian’s office. This will allow for quick identification of the plant and the toxin it contains.
Treatment of False Queen Anne's Lace Poisoning in Dogs
Your veterinarian may induce vomiting in your dog to expel any remaining plant particles from his stomach. If this is unsuccessful at producing any plant remnants, she may decide to administer activated charcoal to bind and absorb any remaining toxin before his body does, or she may want to completely flush his stomach. In the meantime, fluid therapy will be started to flush the toxin from your dog’s body as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Also, if your dog is experiencing exudative ulceration, the fluids will prevent him from becoming dehydrated due to that symptom alone. Since his skin will be exuding fluids, it is just one more source of water loss for him. Depending on the condition of his skin, the veterinarian may clip and clean any areas where symptomatic. She may apply a medicated ointment or cream to assist with healing, treat and prevent any infection, and to help with itching. She may prescribe an oral medication to help decrease the irritation and itching as well.
If your dog is experiencing a lack of appetite, the veterinarian will administer an appetite stimulant to get your dog eating again. This will help him keep his strength and his immune system strong as he fights the toxin in his body. This should also perk him up out of his depression since he will be interested in things again.
Recovery of False Queen Anne's Lace Poisoning in Dogs
Toxicity of false Queen Anne’s lace poisoning in dogs is typically considered mild to moderate, but sometimes can be severe. If your dog was healthy prior to ingestion of the plant, he will likely recover well with the assistance of supportive therapies alone. If your dog already had an existing health problem or skin condition, his reaction to the toxin may be more severe requiring more treatment than the average patient.
The veterinarian may want to keep your dog in the hospital overnight or for a couple of days until he begins to recover. This will allow the veterinarian to keep an eye on him and his condition and allow her to take immediate action if necessary. As your dog recovers, you will need to keep him out of the sun as much as possible until the toxin leaves his body. If he is outside a lot with the toxin is still in his system, his condition will continue to worsen.