Gold Dieffenbachia Poisoning Average Cost

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What is Gold Dieffenbachia Poisoning?

The gold dieffenbachia may grow to almost two feet tall and have large variegated leaves that can range in color from yellow to green. They can sometimes flower, but most do not produce any berries or fruits. It is best to keep an eye on your dog while he is outside and get rid of any plants in your yard that you suspect may be poisonous. Especially if he is known to be the kind of dog that chews on anything and everything. There are toxic enzymes that can be painful and even fatal if your dog has an allergic reaction. If you suspect that your dog may have eaten a gold dieffenbachia, take him to the veterinarian or animal hospital right away.

Gold dieffenbachia plants are dangerous to dogs because of their insoluble oxalate crystals and acid. The crystals are actually microscopic needle-like enzymes that are formed in the stem and leaves of the gold dieffenbachia as a deterrent to pests. Chewing on the gold dieffenbachia plant causes the crystals to be released and they embed themselves into your dog’s mouth, tongue, and throat. The rest of the plant is also dangerous due to the acids and other enzymes not yet identified.

Gold dieffenbachia are popular houseplants but are also often found outdoors as shrubs or ornamental bushes. The gold dieffenbachia plant can cause stomach distress, such as vomiting and diarrhea, or blistering and swelling of the mouth due to the calcium oxalate needles and oxalic acid. These are irritating to the mucous membranes and can cause an allergic reaction in some dogs that can possibly be fatal if not treated right away. Ocular (eye) exposure is rare, but can be incredibly painful, so you will need to bring him to the veterinarian for treatment. Topical (skin) exposure can cause symptoms as well, but this can be treated at home by washing with soap and water.

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Symptoms of Gold Dieffenbachia Poisoning in Dogs

The symptoms of gold dieffenbachia poisoning or exposure vary depending on which area was exposed:

Oral Poisoning

  • Agitation
  • Allergic reaction
  • Swelling of the lips or face
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Gasping for breath
  • Unconsciousness
  • Death
  • Difficulty eating and drinking
  • Drooling
  • Panting
  • Pawing at the face and mouth
  • Restlessness
  • Vocalization
  • Vomiting
  • Yelping

Ocular (Eye) Exposure

  • Head rubbing
  • Itching, redness, and swelling
  • Pawing at eyes and face

Topical (Skin) Exposure

  • Blisters
  • Inflammation of the affected areas
  • Redness and itching

Causes of Gold Dieffenbachia Poisoning in Dogs

  • Accidental exposure to gold dieffenbachia by someone who has handled the plant
  • Ingestion or exposure of any part of the gold dieffenbachia plant, including:
  • Leaves
  • Shoots
  • Stalk
  • Stems

Diagnosis of Gold Dieffenbachia Poisoning in Dogs

The tests for gold dieffenbachia poisoning is difficult, so be sure to bring in a part of the plant if you can. The hardest part of diagnosing your dog is ruling out other illnesses or conditions and the more information you can give the veterinarian the better off your dog will be. Your dog’s medical history is important, such as recent injury or illnesses, vaccination records, and abnormal behavior. Faster diagnosis means sooner treatment, which leads to a better outcome for everyone. The veterinarian will do a complete physical examination, including oral and eye examination, blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, pulse oximetry, weight, and reflexes.

Tests that need to be done include a urinalysis, complete blood count (CBC), blood gases, liver enzymes, chemistry panel, and blood urea nitrogen (BUN). The veterinarian will also want to get some images of your dog’s abdominal area with x-rays, CT scans, and ultrasounds if needed. If your dog has symptoms of ocular exposure, the veterinarian will do a fluorescein eye examination. This procedure is done by staining the eye with ocular dye and looking at it under a slit lamp.

Treatment of Gold Dieffenbachia Poisoning in Dogs

For eye exposure, the eye will be irrigated with saline solution and treated with an optical antibiotic and pain/itch reliever. Skin exposure can be treated at home by washing the area with warm, soapy water and possibly treating it with cortisone cream suggested by your veterinarian. Oral poisoning will be treated by using cool saline and ice chips to wash away the remaining parts of the plant, if any, and application of an oral analgesic for pain. The veterinarian will want to watch your dog for about 30 to 90 minutes to be sure there is no allergic reaction or throat swelling.

Recovery of Gold Dieffenbachia Poisoning in Dogs

Exposure to gold dieffenbachia can result in serious consequences for your pet if prompt veterinary care is sought. The prognosis can be good. Once your dog is allowed to return home, keep him on cage rest and bland food for 24 to 48 hours, or whatever your veterinarian suggests. Be sure to get rid of any remaining plants in your home or gold dieffenbachia bushes on your property so this does not happen again.