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What is Hydrangea Poisoning?

The hydrangea plant is found in many gardens and homes due to its gorgeous bright flowers. If your dog ingests a part of the hydrangea, he may develop signs of toxicity and will require veterinary attention. The sooner you seek help for your dog, the higher his chances of a full recovery. Most toxicity symptoms are mild and easy to correct, but some require immediate assistance to avoid lasting damage.

The hydrangea is a common garden plant with bright flowers in a spherical arrangement. If your dog ingests this plant, it can lead to gastrointestinal upset. If you believe your pet has sampled it or have witnessed your dog eating this plant, you need to contact your veterinarian immediately.

Hydrangea Poisoning Average Cost

From 182 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$350

Symptoms of Hydrangea Poisoning in Dogs

Onset of symptoms can vary depending on how much of the hydrangea your dog ingested. Symptoms include

  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Anorexia
  • Increase in heart rate
  • Increase in body temperature

The buds and the leaves of the hydrangea plant both contain the toxin that will affect your dog. 

Types

There are many species of the hydrangea plant, all of which are toxic to your dog if he ingests it. The plant has flowers that grow in spherical groups. The pH of the soil affects the color of the flowers; they can come in blue, pink or white.

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Causes of Hydrangea Poisoning in Dogs

The toxin the hydrangea contains is known as cyanogenic glycosides.  Plants in this family have contained cyanogenic glycosides for hundreds of years and are believed to act as a natural defense mechanism of the plant. It is believed to help the plant ward off bacteria, viruses, and fungi, as well as deter insects and herbivores.

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Diagnosis of Hydrangea Poisoning in Dogs

When your dog first arrives at the veterinarian’s office, the veterinarian will begin with a physical exam. Vitals will be taken and abnormalities will be noted. Blood work may be performed to ensure your dog’s internal organs are still functioning properly. A complete blood count (CBC) and a chemistry panel will provide the veterinarian with a broad overview of organ function. A urinalysis may also be performed to assess kidney function. It is also beneficial if you bring a piece of the plant your dog ingested with you to the veterinarian’s so she knows exactly what plant toxicity she is treating.

If your dog’s heart rate is abnormal, an ECG may be performed to allow a more diagnostic look into which part of the heart isn’t functioning properly. An ultrasound may also be performed for further evaluation of the heart.

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Treatment of Hydrangea Poisoning in Dogs

The symptoms your dog is suffering will determine the course of treatment. If your dog is vomiting and having diarrhea, the veterinarian will begin administration of fluid therapy. This will correct any dehydration and prevent it from becoming more severe. It will also help the body flush the toxin out quicker.

If your dog’s body temperature is too high, cooling methods will be started. The veterinarian will keep him cool with water, ice packs, and fans and will monitor his temperature constantly. She will cool him slowly and safely until his body temperature returns to normal. 

Your dog will be kept on monitoring equipment until his heart returns to its normal function. The monitoring equipment will give constant readings of the heart beat and therefore, the veterinarian will know exactly how the heart is functioning. If your dog’s heart rate is increased or part of his heart is malfunctioning, the veterinarian may administer medications to counteract these abnormalities.

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Recovery of Hydrangea Poisoning in Dogs

Toxicity may be mild to moderate depending on how much hydrangea was ingested. The sooner your dog receives veterinary attention, the higher his chances of a full recovery. The diarrhea and vomiting will run its course as the hydrangea passes through your dog’s system. Once his body has neutralized the toxin, the symptoms should subside. Appetite will return once he is feeling better and his mood will improve tremendously. 

If your dog experienced an extremely elevated body temperature for too long, he may have permanent brain damage. If the body isn’t cooled properly, the body literally cooks the brain. However, taking his temperature is one of the tasks completed upon arrival and therefore should have been caught early enough to prevent any lasting damage. Temperatures much reach very high levels before lasting damage results.

Your dog will be kept in the hospital and on monitoring equipment until all vitals return to normal. Fluid therapy will be discontinued once all laboratory work comes back normal, and then your dog will be ready to go home. 

The best solution against hydrangea poisoning  is not let your pet have access to the hydrangea plant. If you have the hydrangea indoors, keep it at a height your dog cannot reach when standing on his hind legs. If you have the hydrangea in your garden outside, be sure your dog does not have access to it and monitor him when he is around it. For the safety of your dog, educate yourself before you bring any new plant into your home.

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Hydrangea Poisoning Average Cost

From 182 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$350

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Hydrangea Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Rosie & Tinker

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Labrador Retriever

dog-age-icon

12 Weeks

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

Fair severity

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1 found helpful

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Occasional Vomiting& Loose Stools

Our 2 pups have been chewing on dormant hydrangea stalks, starting at age 8 weeks. They are now 12 weeks old and still chew on these if we don't catch them in time to redirect their attention. Will this cause diarrhea and vomiting? Are there long term effects we should be aware of?

Jan. 28, 2018

Rosie & Tinker's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Thank you for your email. The onset of symptoms can vary depending on how much of the hydrangea your dogs ingested. Symptoms include lethargy, depression, vomiting. diarrhea, anorexia, an increase in heart rate, and an increase in body temperature The buds and the leaves of the hydrangea plant both contain the toxin that will affect your dog. If Rosie and Tinker are showing any of these signs, they should be seen by your veterinarian to be examined and given symptomatic care if needed. It would be a good idea long term to block access to those plants, so that they can't continue to eat them when they are not dormant stalks anymore. I hope that everything goes well for them! Read more at: https://wagwalking.com/condition/hydrangea-poisoning

Jan. 28, 2018

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Meadow

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Alaskan Husky

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7 Weeks

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Mild severity

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1 found helpful

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

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Our 7 week old husky puppy had 3 seizures the first night we had her. We rushed her to emergency and they originally thought to be liver shunt. The next 12 hours following seizures she was sleepy and lethargic. The following day and days since her seizure (she hasn’t had any since) she’s now acting like a normal energetic puppy. Reflecting back, we remember her chewing on hydrangea stalk, but never thought anything of it so unsure how much she had. Could this be the cause of her 3 seizures? Read more at: https://wagwalking.com/condition/hydrangea-poisoning

Nov. 26, 2017

Meadow's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

I am not aware of any relationship between hydrangea poisoning and seizures; hydrangea poisoning normally results in gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain. Keep an eye out for any odd behaviour the Meadow may display which may tie in with the seizures (tremors, twitching, eye movements). Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Nov. 26, 2017

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Ace

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Border Collie

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14 Weeks

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

My 14 week old puppy ate a bit of hydrangea leaf a few days ago but I didn't realise what it was at the time and a very small bit of dead stalk and flowers today. He's had some diarrhoea but mostly firm stools. He's eating and drinking fine. Should I take him to a vet?

Sept. 1, 2017

Ace's Owner


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3320 Recommendations

Hydrangea poisoning will most commonly result in gastrointestinal upset, preventing consumption of more leaves and stems is the best course of action; whilst Ace has stomach upset it is important to ensure that he remains hydrated. If Ace isn’t showing any other symptoms apart from diarrhoea, I would keep a close eye on him and if the symptoms get worse or you are concerned visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/hydrangea/

Sept. 1, 2017

Hi, my 7 week old puppy has 3 seizures the first night we had her. We originally thought liver shunt but the day after the seizures, she hasn’t had another and has now been acting like a normal energetic puppy. We realized we have hydrangea plants outside (they aren’t bloomed it’s jusy stalks right now) and we remember her chewing on a stalk... could that have caused her to have a seizure? We just aren’t sure if it was a one time thing since she seems to be totally fine. Thanks!

Nov. 26, 2017

Ashel C.

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Zurich

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Mixed

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2 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Depression
Lethargy
Hind End Weekness

My 73 lb dog ate a piece of hydrangea branch roughly 2 inches long and about 1/4 inch or less in diameter. She started having diarrhea about a day later but no vomiting

Aug. 30, 2017

Zurich 's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

The most poisonous parts of hydrangea are the flowers and leaves; the symptoms of ingestion are typically vomiting, diarrhoea and lethargy (among others). The Cerenia is an antiemetic and may be why Zurich hasn’t vomited; the diarrhoea is normal due to irritation of the gastrointestinal tract. It may be best to visit your Veterinarian to be on the safe side if you have some further concerns. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVMwww.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/hydrangea/

Aug. 30, 2017

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pip and gina

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Parson Russell Terrier

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8mo

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

Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Excessive Drooling
Vomiting,

two pupa ate hydrangea leaves, within a few minutes started vomiting and salivating copiously, rushed them to emery vet where they are now receiving fluids and meds,cerenia. Vomiting has ceased. Am I doing the proper the proper treatment?

July 26, 2017

pip and gina's Owner


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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

The majority of cases of hydrangea poisoning result in vomiting and diarrhoea with treatment directed towards supportive (fluids) and symptomatic (Cerenia to control vomiting) care. Hydrangeas contain cyanogenic glycosides which are more concentrated in the leaves; Pip and Gina are on a good course of treatment, your Veterinarian will give you more information regarding follow up treatment (basically continuing supportive care). Regards Dr Callum Turner DVMwww.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/hydrangea/

July 26, 2017

Thank you so much

July 26, 2017

pip and gina's Owner


Our 7 week old husky puppy had 3 seizures the first night we had her. We rushed her to emergency and they originally thought to be liver shunt. The next 12 hours following seizures she was sleepy and lethargic. The following day and days since her seizure (she hasn’t had any since) she’s now acting like a normal energetic puppy. Reflecting back, we remember her chewing on hydrangea stalk, but never thought anything of it so unsure how much she had. Could this be the cause of her 3 seizures?

Nov. 26, 2017

Ashel C.

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Luna and Amber

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Siberian Husky

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9 Weeks

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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

Bloody Diarrhea
Some Vomiting

We have two new Siberian Husky pups. We also have a hydrangea garden and it is flowering and in gravel. They love the samba de, the gravel, etc. they also love chewing on the plants. One pup had diarrhea and vomited a couple of times and improved, then the other had the same issues to the point of not being able to hold it at night Amin their crate. Now she is pooping watery blood. We cut the plants back, fed them, bathed them, they are both drinking water, and now sleeping. Today is Sunday so a tough day to see a vet. Is this an emergency event? Should I take her to any vet I can find that is open?

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Juni

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Cardigan Welsh Corgi

dog-age-icon

8 Weeks

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

Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Hi my 8 week old puppy and I were just on a walk and she grabbed a mouth full of hydrangeas as walking by. I pulled them all out of her mouth, except I could see one flower petel back in the back of her mouth I couldn’t reach. I’m just wondering the chances there will be any toxic reactions?

Hydrangea Poisoning Average Cost

From 182 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$350

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