What is Gold Dust Dracaena Poisoning?
This is a shrubby indoor plant with large green leaves accented by golden yellow specks. Although it can grow outdoors in warm climates, such as Florida and Louisiana, it is mostly seen as an indoor plant in the home or office. The entire gold dust dracaena is poisonous to dogs. although the most toxic parts are the berries and flowers. The symptoms your dog exhibits can range from mild intestinal issues to serious heart rate problems. If you believe your dog ate any part of a gold dust dracaena, you should call your veterinarian immediately or take your dog to the animal hospital or clinic.
The gold dust dracaena is a common houseplant with a vibrant green color and gold dusting on the leaves, but is dangerously toxic to your dog and other small pets. Although it can grow outdoors in warm climates, such as Florida and Louisiana, it is mostly seen as an indoor plant in the home or office. If your dog eats any part of the gold dust dracaena, the symptoms shown can be mild to moderate, depending on how much and what part of the plant your dog consumed. The berries of the gold dust dracaena plant are the most toxic, and can cause more serious problems, such as increased heart rate and can even cause your dog to lose control of his body movements. Since this is a plant that most people have in their homes, it is commonly a cause of plant toxicity.
Symptoms of Gold Dust Dracaena Poisoning in Dogs
Unfortunately, because the gold dust dracaena is a plant often found in homes, poisoning is not uncommon. Symptoms of poisoning include:
- Abdominal pain
- Appetite loss
- Dilated pupils
- Excessive drooling
- Increased heart rate
- Loss of control over bodily movements
- Stomach irritation
- Walking difficulty
Causes of Gold Dust Dracaena Poisoning in Dogs
The toxic chemical in the gold dust dracaena plant is a steroidal saponin, which has a foaming property that causes the intestinal issues. Although the gold dust dracaena has an unpleasant taste, many dogs will eat it anyway, causing symptoms that range from vomiting to increased heart rate. If you believe your dog has consumed any part of a gold dust dracaena, visit your veterinarian or animal hospital right away.
Diagnosis of Gold Dust Dracaena Poisoning in Dogs
Bring a portion of the gold dust dracaena with you to the veterinarian to help aid in diagnosis. When you arrive, they will perform a physical examination, including overall condition, heart rate, breath sounds, respiratory rate, blood pressure, body temperature, weight, reflexes, and oxygen levels. Be sure to give them all the details about the incident, such as how much and what part of the plant your dog ate. You should also tell the veterinarian about your dog’s health history, vaccination records, unusual behavior, or appetite changes. Laboratory tests will be done next, including biochemical profile, complete blood count, urinalysis, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), electrolyte and glucose levels. To check if your dog is dehydrated, a packed cell volume (PCV) test will probably be done. An endoscopy could also be performed to view the esophagus and remove any plant material. This procedure is done using an endoscope, which is a long, flexible tube with a camera on the end. Your dog will most likely be anesthetized during the procedure. An electrocardiogram (ECG) is sometimes performed to measure the electrical and muscular performance of the heart. Imaging done with x-ray, CT scan, MRI, and ultrasound may also be necessary.
Treatment of Gold Dust Dracaena Poisoning in Dogs
Treatment will depend on how much your dog ate and what symptoms he is showing. Early decontamination can help reduce the symptoms, so the veterinarian will induce vomiting with a hydrogen peroxide medication. Also, activated charcoal is recommended if it has been less than three hours since ingestion. Depending on the electrolyte levels and PCV results, they will probably need to give your dog IV fluids. This helps flush the toxins from your dog’s body as well as hydrates his system. Gastric lavage can be done to further empty the stomach of any toxins left in your dog’s system. Other supportive therapy may be administered depending on your dog’s needs.
Recovery of Gold Dust Dracaena Poisoning in Dogs
If your dog is treated within the first 18 hours and there have been no renal system symptoms, the prognosis is good. If you have any questions or concerns, call your veterinarian. To prevent this from happening again, it is best to get rid of any gold dust dracaena plants you may have inside and outside your home.