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What is Gladiolus Poisoning?

Although the gladiolus is a popular perennial plant, it can be very toxic to your dog if he eats any part of it, especially the bulb. In the United States, gladioli are typically removed from the ground in the winter to store the bulbs until the following fall. This can be especially dangerous if you have a dog or another small animal in your home because of the toxicity of the bulb. You should never leave bulbs where your dog can get to them. Besides being toxic, your dog can also choke on the leaves or bulbs of the gladiolus, causing lack of oxygen and seizures. The toxic effects may also cause cardiac symptoms like arrhythmia or heart murmur if a large amount of bulbs are eaten. Liver and kidney symptoms may also be evident with large consumptions.

Gladioli are a member of the iridaceae (iris) family, order of the asparagales, and the scientific name is gladiolus communis. Some of the other common names are sword plant, sword lily, or corn lily. These toxic plants are perennial flowering plants that grow from bulbs (corms), which are the most toxic part of the plant. There are more than 250 species of gladiolus native to southern Africa, but have been common in the United States for over 100 years. If your dog eats any part of the gladiolus, he can show signs of toxicity within hours. However, the highest concentration of its toxic component is in the bulbs or corms. Some of the most common signs are gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea and vomiting, although in some cases this can lead to dehydration, which is a potentially fatal situation.

Gladiolus Poisoning Average Cost

From 486 quotes ranging from $200 - $3,000

Average Cost

$350

Symptoms of Gladiolus Poisoning in Dogs

The symptoms of gladiolus poisoning in dogs varies depending on the amount eaten and size of your dog. General gastrointestinal problems are common for medium sized dogs who consume just a small bulb or plant. If several bulbs have been eaten, your dog can show signs of cardiac, liver, and kidney problems as well.

Gastrointestinal Symptoms

  • Appetite loss
  • Blood in the stool
  • Convulsions
  • Death
  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive drooling
  • Lethargy
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting

Cardiac Symptoms

  • Arrhythmia
  • Death
  • Fainting
  • Heart murmur
  • Slow heart rate

Liver and Kidney Symptoms

  • Abdominal pain and swelling
  • Blood in urine
  • Convulsions
  • Dark urine
  • Frequent urination
  • Inability to urinate
  • Yellow skin and eyes
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Causes of Gladiolus Poisoning in Dogs

  • The cause of gladiolus poisoning is the consumption of any part of a gladiolus plant, especially the bulbs
  • The toxic property in the gladiolus is still not known, but is similar to other bulb toxicity
  • The toxic effects may also cause cardiac symptoms like arrhythmia or heart murmur
  • Dogs can also choke on the leaves or bulbs of the gladiolus
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Diagnosis of Gladiolus Poisoning in Dogs

Bring a part of the plant to the veterinarian when you go for a faster diagnosis. This will help speed up the treatment, which is much better for your dog. The less time it takes to determine the kind of plant your dog ate, the faster he can get treatment. The veterinarian will also need to know what part of the plant, and how much, you believe your dog has consumed. Also, let your veterinarian know your dog’s age, breed, medical history, vaccination records, last illness or injury, overall health, and any unusual behavior you have noticed. A complete physical examination will be done by the veterinarian, including your dog’s heart rate, blood oxygen level (pulse oximetry), respirations, breath sounds, reflexes, body temperature, weight, blood pressure, physical appearance, and inspection of the eyes, nose, ears, and mouth.

Laboratory tests will be conducted next, such as that will be done are complete blood count (CBC), blood gases, biochemistry profile, blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels, and electrolyte levels. A urinalysis will be done to determine specific gravity, and to check levels of amylase, glucose, and lipase. The veterinarian may also do an endoscopy to view the inside of your dog’s airway and esophagus. If there are any pieces of the gladiolus in your dog’s throat or airway, the veterinarian will be able to see it and remove it using the endoscope. Abdominal radiographs (x-rays) will need to be performed to give your veterinarian a view of your dog’s stomach and intestinal tract in order to see what damage has been done. If necessary, they may have to perform a CT scan or MRI to get a more detailed view.

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Treatment of Gladiolus Poisoning in Dogs

The veterinarian will induce vomiting with medication, if necessary. Also, a charcoal lavage can be used to wash leftover toxins from the digestive system and stomach. The activated charcoal will absorb the toxins so they do not do any more damage to your dog’s system. IV fluid therapy will be started if your dog has been vomiting or has diarrhea, to be continued for a few hours or overnight, depending on the severity of the symptoms.

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Recovery of Gladiolus Poisoning in Dogs

Your dog’s recovery depends on the amount consumed. Even if your dog does not have major symptoms, the veterinarian will want to observe him for several hours if he is suspected to have eaten a large amount of bulbs, Be sure to remove the plant from your home or property so this will not happen again and call your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns.

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Gladiolus Poisoning Average Cost

From 486 quotes ranging from $200 - $3,000

Average Cost

$350

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Gladiolus Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Taegan

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Afghan Hound

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18 Months

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

None

I have an 18 month old Afghan hound and found him chewing on the stalk of a dead gladiola just a few minutes ago. I don't know how much of it he chewed on, but could this be toxic to him. He was only outside for a few minutes, so he couldn't have ingested much, but I wanted to check. This was from an arrangement, so there was no bulb. Thanks. By the way, the question on Symptoms below didn't have an acceptable option - such as No symptoms, so you might want to consider changing that in the future.

May 12, 2018

Taegan's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Taegan may have mild GI signs from chewing on the Gladiola stalk, or he may have more severe GI or cardiovascular signs. Without knowing how much he chewed on, it may be better to be safe than sorry, and have him seen by a veterinarian right away. They'll be able to assess his heart rate, any neurologic signs that he may be having, and give him activated charcoal to combat any signs that he may develop. He may be fine as the stalk was dead, but given the possibility it would be best to have him seen.

May 13, 2018

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None

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Labrador Retriever

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1 year

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

My 92 pound lab may have eaten part of an old gladiola bulb that was dried out. He has not had any vomiting or diarrhea. This was about two hours ago. He is active. When should I be assured there are no symptoms?

Nov. 16, 2017

None's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

The bulb is the most toxic part of a plant and will cause gastrointestinal irritation which may lead to vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain among other symptoms; I would suggest visiting your Veterinarian to be on the safe side. You can also contact the ASPCA is you have further concerns. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants/gladiola

Nov. 16, 2017

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Gladiolus Poisoning Average Cost

From 486 quotes ranging from $200 - $3,000

Average Cost

$350

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