What is Pride of India Poisoning?
The pride of India is a plant native to Asia and Australia but is considered a weed in North America. It contains meliatoxins that leads to sodium imbalances within the body. If ingested by your dog, the symptoms can develop to critical stages. The sooner you receive veterinary attention for him, the higher his chances of recovery. Most dogs do well with supportive therapies alone while others may need more intensive care.
The pride of India is a nice shrub like tree that can be found across North America. Every part of this plant is toxic to your dog if he ingests it. If your dog ate any part of this plant, contact your veterinarian immediately as he may develop symptoms such as seizures and weakness.
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Symptoms of Pride of India Poisoning in Dogs
Symptoms of pride of India poisoning may differ from case to case. Symptoms may include:
- Slow heart rate
The pride of India tree is considered a perennial shrub tree and can be found across North America, Australia, and South East Asia. While it is native to Australia and Asia, it is considered a weed in North America and New Zealand. The pride of India belongs to the Meliaceae family with the scientific name of Melia azedarach. This plant is also commonly known as the Chinaberry tree as well as China ball tree, Persian lilac, paradise tree, Japanese bead tree, white cedar, bead tree and Texas umbrella tree.
Causes of Pride of India Poisoning in Dogs
The pride of India contains tetranortriterpenes, or meliatoxins. This substance increases sodium permeability leading to imbalances. The fruit, bark, and leaves all contain this toxic substance; the highest potency is in the fruit.
Diagnosis of Pride of India Poisoning in Dogs
Toxicity from ingesting pride of India can be difficult to diagnose since the symptoms listed are caused by many things. If you notice your dog is acting abnormally, get him to a veterinarian. When you arrive, she will begin by performing a physical exam on your dog. This will allow her to check his vitals, check his mucous membranes, and give him an overall look to note any abnormalities. While she is doing this, she will also collect a history from you. This means she will ask you lots of questions as to what your dog could have possibly gotten into within the last 24 hours. If you witnessed your dog eating this plant, bring a piece of it with you to the veterinarian office. This will allow for quicker identification of the toxin your dog ingested.
For further diagnostics, the veterinarian will want to run some blood work. She will start by performing a chemistry panel and a complete blood count (CBC), and evaluate his electrolytes. This will give an overlook at how your dog is handling the toxin internally and how his organs are functioning.
When she takes his vitals in the beginning, if she notices his heart rate is low, she will put him on monitoring equipment. This will take a continuous reading of his heart rate. She may also want to perform an electrocardiogram (ECG) so that she can see exactly which beat of the heart is having issues and therefore where the problem may be. In addition to this, she may want to take a radiograph to evaluate the size of his heart and check for other issues as well.
If your dog vomits while at the clinic, the veterinarian will examine the regurgitated contents for clues as to what he ingested. If he is having diarrhea, she will collect a sample to run diagnostics on it. She will be able to check for intestinal parasites or a bacterial overgrowth that could also be the cause of this symptom.
Treatment of Pride of India Poisoning in Dogs
Treatment of toxicity from the pride of India plant is mainly supportive. Fluids will be started almost immediately like in any typical toxicity case. Vitamins B and C may be added if the veterinarian feels it necessary and as a boost for the immune system. A diuretic may also be administered to keep the fluids flowing through the patient since his sodium levels may be imbalanced.
If he begins to seizure, she will administer an anti-seizure medication as needed for him to stop. If he is experiencing a slowed heart rate, she may administer a medication to increase the speed. If his heart rate gets too slow, his oxygen saturation will be low and his blood will not flow like it should leading to other complications.
For the vomiting and diarrhea, medications can be administered to combat these symptoms. The fluid therapy being administered will also ensure your dog does not get dehydrated from fluid loss via the diarrhea and vomiting.
Recovery of Pride of India Poisoning in Dogs
Pride of India poisoning may be considered mild to moderate depending on the amount your dog ingests. Every dog reacts to the toxin differently. The sooner you seek veterinary care for your dog, the higher his chances of a full recovery. If too much time passes before you get supportive care, his chances of a full recovery declines. Also, if your dog already had a preexisting medical condition prior to ingesting pride of India, it is imperative he receives medical attention immediately.
The pride of India makes for a beautiful tree, so if you have it on your property, teach your dog at a young age to not pick up pieces of it to chew on or ingest.