What is Green Gold Naphthysis Poisoning?
The green gold naphthysis, sometimes also known as the American evergreen, is commonly found in Florida, but it is considered an invasive weed. If your dog bites into this plant, he will immediately develop symptoms of irritation and burning of the mouth. In most cases, the dog recovers well with supportive therapies alone. He may be kept in hospital for a short time for monitoring, but he should suffer no long term side effects and his prognosis of a full recovery is good.
The green gold naphthysis is a vine type of plant that is toxic to your dog if he bites into it. If you believe your dog ingested a piece of this plant, contact your veterinarian immediately.
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Symptoms of Green Gold Naphthysis Poisoning in Dogs
Symptoms of toxicity typically develop immediately after your dog bites into the plant. Symptoms may include:
- Oral irritation
- Pawing at the mouth
- Burning of the tongue
- Burning of the lips
- Intense burning of the mouth
- Inflammation of the mouth and/or throat
- Difficulty swallowing
- Calcium oxalate crystalluria
- Difficulty breathing
The green gold naphthysis, also known as the arrow-head vine or nephthytis, is a vine-like plant commonly found in Florida. It is considered an invasive weed so its distribution may vary. Scientifically, the green gold naphthysis belongs to the Araceae family with the scientific name of Syngonium podophyllum.
Causes of Green Gold Naphthysis Poisoning in Dogs
The green gold naphthysis possesses insoluble calcium oxalate crystals. Scientists believe the plant produces these crystals as a defense mechanism against animals wanting to eat it. When your dog bites into the plant, he will immediately feel pain from the oxalates due to their shape and their insolubility factor. If any of these crystals make their way into your dog’s bloodstream, it can lead to crystal formation in the urine as well as damage to other tissues within the body.
Diagnosis of Green Gold Naphthysis Poisoning in Dogs
The veterinarian will take a thorough look at every part of your dog and the symptoms he is suffering. While she is examining him, she will also ask you questions to collect a history of what your dog was doing before his symptoms began. If you witnessed your dog chewing on this plant before his symptoms developed, take a piece of it with you to the veterinarian’s office. This will allow for proper and quicker identification of the plant your dog consumed.
If your dog is drooling excessively or displaying other symptoms of oral pain, the veterinarian will take special care when examining your dog’s mouth. If your dog vomits while at the clinic, the veterinarian will examine the contents for any evidence as to what he might have ingested. With the green gold naphthysis plant, canines typically do not ingest it once they have taken a bite and experienced the intense pain it can produce.
Laboratory work will be performed to give the veterinarian a broad look as to how the internal organs are tolerating the toxin. A urinalysis will be performed to check your dog’s urine for any crystal formation indicating he swallowed some of the crystals. She will also run blood work in the form of a complete blood count (CBC) and chemistry panel to provide her with needed information for proper assessment. If the veterinarian is concerned about dehydration, a packed cell volume (PCV) maybe performed to determine if your companion is becoming dehydrated.
Treatment of Green Gold Naphthysis Poisoning in Dogs
Since the source of your dog’s pain will mainly be in his mouth from the cutting action of the crystals, the veterinarian may attempt to wash out his mouth to remove any remaining crystals. The cooling sensation of the flush should also relieve some of the burning sensation he may be experiencing from the cutting action of the crystals. She may also want to start him on intravenous fluid therapy to correct and prevent any dehydration, to flush the toxin from his body quicker, and to decrease his chance of developing crystalluria.
If your dog is having trouble breathing or experiencing any type of swelling, an antihistamine will be administered immediately. If his oxygen saturation is too low due to the swelling or breathing issues, your veterinarian may start your dog on oxygen via flow-by or place him in an oxygen cage to get his oxygen saturation levels back to a safe range. If your dog is experiencing severe swelling and is still not receiving enough oxygen from either or both of these methods, the veterinarian may have to intubate him and maintain oxygen administration via intubation until he stabilizes. With the antihistamine on board, your dog’s swelling should begin to decrease in 2 to 4 hours and his breathing should become easier.
Recovery of Green Gold Naphthysis Poisoning in Dogs
Since most dogs immediately drop the green gold naphthysis plant once they bite into it and do not swallow it, most cases of poisoning are relatively mild. As a result, his prognosis for a full recovery is good. Once the oxalate crystals are rinsed from your dog’s mouth, no more injury should occur and recovery should begin. If your dog does happen to swallow some, treatment will be more intense and recovery may take longer.