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What is Gardenia Poisoning?

Gardenias are a large group of flowers with hundreds of different colors, shapes, and sizes all over the world. Some are grown indoors as houseplants and some grow outside either wild or in gardens. They are all poisonous to dogs although some are more toxic than others. The berries are the most dangerous because they hold the highest concentration of toxins. If your pet consumed part of a gardenia, no matter what kind, it is best to go to a veterinary professional. If therapy is delayed, it may be more difficult to treat.

The gardenia is a genus of many flowering plants from the Rubiaceae family that can cause a toxic effect if your pet decides to eat the flowers, berries, or foliage. There are more than 140 species of gardenias, but the most common is the cape jasmine (gardenia jasminoides). All of these beautiful flowers are poisonous due to several toxic properties in the foliage, flowers, and berries, which hold the most toxins. The properties that have been documented are saponins, crocetin, gardenoside, genipin, geniposide, and glycosides. While most of these substances only cause mild gastric disturbances, the crocetin, genipin, and saponins can cause more serious symptoms which are cardiovascular, nervous system, and intestinal irritation.

Gardenia Poisoning Average Cost

From 523 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$400

Symptoms of Gardenia Poisoning in Dogs

There are quite a few side effects of gardenia poisoning that are varied depending on what part of the plant your dog ate and how much was eaten.

Cardiovascular

  • Low blood pressure
  • Extremely low body temperature
  • Heartbeat irregularities

Nervous system

  • Depression
  • Partial loss of sight
  • Convulsions
  • Coma

Intestinal

  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Appetite loss
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Other

  • Red rash or hives
  • Sweating
  • Irregular gait
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Causes of Gardenia Poisoning in Dogs

There are several toxic properties in gardenias.

  • Alkaloids in the berries
  • Crocetin in the foliage and flowers
  • Glycosides, gardenoside, and geniposide are in the entire plant
  • Geniposidic acid is in the whole plant as genipin
  • Saponins are in the sap and berries
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Diagnosis of Gardenia Poisoning in Dogs

If your dog ingested a portion of the gardenia plant, no matter what kind it is, you should see your veterinarian right away. If you are unable to get an appointment, go to a veterinary hospital or clinic because even if you do not see any symptoms, the effects of the toxins may already be at work doing damage that you cannot see. Try to get a sample of the plant or take a photograph to show the veterinarian. It is also a good idea to bring your pet’s medical records, but if you do not have them, just be sure to mention any medications your dog is on and any recent illnesses.

A comprehensive physical examination will be done first to check your dog’s blood pressure, temperature, weight, heart rate, and breath sounds. The veterinarian may also examine your pet’s ears, eyes, nose, and mouth. Urine and stool samples will also be needed to test microscopically for fungal and parasitic infestations.

In addition, blood tests such as blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine (CREAT), packed cell volume (PCV), haematocrit (HCT), complete blood count (CBC), liver panel, and chemistry profile will be done. Abdominal x-rays are usually performed to see if there are any blockages or damage to vital organs. If needed, an ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI may be performed for a more detailed view.

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Treatment of Gardenia Poisoning in Dogs

The treatment for gardenia poisoning is similar to other poisonings, which is emesis, intravenous (IV) fluids, medication, and observation.

Evacuation

To rid your dog’s body of toxins, the first thing to do is to induce emesis (vomiting) if your dog is not already vomiting. A peroxide solution or ipecac will be given that will cause your dog to vomit. Activated charcoal may be used to absorb any leftover toxins and a gastric lavage can be performed to rinse any excess plant residue from the stomach.

Detoxification

The veterinarian will use an intravenous (IV) line to administer fluids in order to flush the kidneys. This will also decrease the possibility of dehydration.

Medications

The veterinarian may administer stomach protectants or other medications through your dog’s IV depending on how your dog is responding to treatment.

Observation

If your dog consumed a large amount of gardenia berries or if the treatment is not working as it should, an overnight stay in the hospital for observation will be needed. If not, you can observe your dog from home.

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Recovery of Gardenia Poisoning in Dogs

The prognosis is good if your dog received prompt treatment, even if the berries were eaten. Although there are several different types of toxins in the gardenia, they are not usually fatal unless your dog is already ill or if you do not get treatment. Continue to observe and monitor your pet for several days and call your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns about the treatment and recovery.

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Gardenia Poisoning Average Cost

From 523 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$400

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Gardenia 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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Toy schnauzer

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One Year

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

None Yet

My dog was eating a dead gardenia flower off my bush outside, because the flower was dead, will it still effect him?

July 16, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I would think it would be unlikely that that small amount would cause problems for him, other than mild GI upset. It would be a good idea to monitor him, and if he is having any vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or loss of appetite, then it would be best to have him seen by your veterinarian. I hope that all goes well for him!

July 16, 2020

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Arhie

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German Shorthaired Pointer

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7 Months

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargic, Slightly Irregular Gait

My 7 month old German Short Haired pointer ate part of my gardenia bush last night. This am I noticed that he had vomited overnight and seems a little lethargic and is walking with a slightly irregular gait(not consistently). What should I do?

April 9, 2018

Arhie's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

It would be best to have Arhie seen by an emergency veterinarian as soon as possible. They will be able to perform any necessary testing and give supportive care to make sure that he is okay. Even a small amount of Gardenia can be quite toxic.

April 9, 2018

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Sadiebug

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German Shepherd

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5-6 months

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Mild severity

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Mild Vomiting Diarrhea , Lethargy

My five month old purebred German shepherd injested/chewed up a non flowering gardenia plant last night 6/26/17. The next day she had explosive diarrhea and mild vomiting. By the time I figured it out, she was eating and drinking again. She was running around as well. Should I assume the gardenia poisoning episode has subsided? She is also sleeping well.

July 26, 2017

Sadiebug's Owner


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3320 Recommendations

Gardenia is mildly toxic to dogs and normally causes gastrointestinal upset (vomiting and diarrhoea) and may result in hives appearing on the skin. If you see the symptom return or any other worrying symptoms, visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 26, 2017

Sadiebug has gotten over the poisoning without fanfare. 24 hrs later she is fine and eating, drinking & acting normal. Thank you.

July 26, 2017

Sadiebug's Owner

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Gardenia Poisoning Average Cost

From 523 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$400

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