What is Hahn's Self Branching English Ivy Poisoning?
Hahn’s self branching English ivy, with the scientific name of Hedera helix, originated in southeastern Europe as a hardy vine that grew and still grows in the mountains of forests. This English ivy decorates landscapes, patio containers, atriums, indoor hanging baskets, and gardens. It is very tolerant in most soils and grows well in colder temperatures. Many people enjoy Hahn’s self branching English ivy for its natural colonial appearance in the beautiful lifting stems. In order for English ivy to flourish it must be watered regularly and given plenty of shade.
This English ivy, while gorgeous and elegant, is poisonous to dogs. It contains triterpenoid saponins and all parts of the foliage, including the berries, are toxic when eaten. It is recommended that Hahn’s English ivy not be grown in homes or gardens where dogs are present.
Hahn’s self branching English ivy poisoning in dogs occurs when dogs eat the foliage or berries of this hardy plant. This English ivy contains saponins, a toxic substance that is a natural defense.
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Symptoms of Hahn's Self Branching English Ivy Poisoning in Dogs
When dogs consume Hahn’s self-branching English ivy, symptoms may develop within a few hours. The severity of symptoms is relative to the amount consumed. Symptoms may include:
- Abdominal pain
Hahn’s self-branching English ivy is within the family of Araliaceae. It also has a variety of names, which are important to know to be sure the Ivy you may have in your home is safe. Alternate names that this poisonous vine may go by include:
- Glacier ivy
- Sweetheart ivy
- California ivy
- Branching ivy
- Needlepoint ivy
Causes of Hahn's Self Branching English Ivy Poisoning in Dogs
The cause of poisoning from Hahn’s self-branching English ivy is the ingestion of the ivy plant and berries. Specific causes of symptoms relating to toxicity are:
- Saponin, a toxic compound
- The irritation of membranes in the digestive tract in the respiratory system
- Aglycones (sapogenins) increase the red blood cell membranes’ permeability
- Membranes may be destroyed
- Hemoglobin may escape into the blood
Diagnosis of Hahn's Self Branching English Ivy Poisoning in Dogs
If your dog has eaten Hahn’s self-branching English ivy, it is important to take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Whether you suspect or can confirm the fact that he ate the ivy, it will be quite helpful to the veterinarian if you take part of the plant in with you just to be sure, and to help the veterinarian make a diagnosis.
The veterinarian will perform a complete physical examination, which will include bloodwork, biochemistry profile, and a urinalysis. The veterinarian will also check your dog’s mouth area and skin for any irritation from the sap. If needed, the veterinarian will cleanse your dog to help get rid of the irritating substance.
Testing will help the veterinarian determine the type of toxicity your dog has. It will show if there are any chemical imbalances within your dog’s system and will reveal if the organs are functioning properly. If your dog has vomited on his own, the veterinarian will want to test the contents; he may also want to check your pet’s stool for any signs of plant particles.
Treatment of Hahn's Self Branching English Ivy Poisoning in Dogs
Once your veterinarian has determined that your dog’s symptoms are due to saponin poisoning, he will begin treatment. Treatment methods may include:
If your dog has not vomited on his own, the veterinarian will encourage emesis to help rid your dog of the saponins. This will be followed with the administration of activated charcoal to help absorb the toxins so they do not enter your dog’s system.
The veterinarian will immediately wash your dog to help rid him of any sap that may have gotten on his skin. The medical professional may also flush out his mouth and eyes repeatedly with water to get rid of the irritant.
The administration of IV fluids is an ideal way to prevent dehydration, to restore any system imbalances, and to promote kidney function and urination. An antihistamine may also be added to the fluids if your dog is having an allergic reaction from the saponins.
Symptoms will diminish within a day, though the veterinarian will want to continue monitoring the function of his kidneys and other systems. The veterinarian may choose to keep the dog overnight to continue to monitor him and to check bloodwork for signs of recovery.
Recovery of Hahn's Self Branching English Ivy Poisoning in Dogs
Once your dog is able to come home, you will need to follow the instructions to you by your veterinarian in terms of his care. You will need to carefully monitor your dog and watch for any new symptoms of alarm; if any occur is important to contact the veterinarian. Your medical professional may want to see your dog again for follow-up visits. He may want to take bloodwork, do another urinalysis, and possibly a biochemistry profile just to be sure that he is recovering properly.
Your doctor may also recommend a diet change, at least temporarily. In order to ease the stomach and gastrointestinal irritation (if any), he may recommend a very bland diet that is easily digestible. He will give you a list of possible foods to feed your dog for the time being. For prevention purposes, it is important to check the plants in and around your home to be sure that none of them are poisonous. It is also important to monitor your dog when outside to prevent him from digging and chewing on any unfamiliar plants.