What is Primrose Poisoning?
The primrose is an easy to grow flower many have in their gardens or on their property. While this flower is aesthetically pleasing to humans, it can cause toxicity symptoms in dogs if they ingest any part of it. While death is unlikely, severe gastrointestinal upset is a common side effect dog’s experience. Skin and eye irritation are also typical; if you believe your canine companion sampled the primrose or witnessed your dog eating this plant, you should alert your veterinarian as soon as possible. Take your pet for an evaluation in order to avoid an unpleasant experience of discomfort.
The primrose plant is one of the first to bloom in the spring producing beautiful, colorful flowers. While the primrose may be aesthetically pleasing, it is toxic if ingested. If your dog eats this plant, a veterinary visit is warranted.
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Symptoms of Primrose Poisoning in Dogs
While dogs are not as susceptible to primrose poisoning as cats, they may still develop symptoms of toxicity. Symptoms may include
- Contact dermatitis
- Eye irritation
- Inflammation of the gastrointestinal system
There have been no reported cases of death in a dog from primrose poisoning. However, it always remains a possibility.
The primrose belongs to the Primulaceae family. There are many different species of primrose in this family which bloom in a variety of colors. The most common primrose is Primula vulgaris. This species of primrose easily adapts to almost any type of soil making it an easy flower to grow and have in your garden.
Causes of Primrose Poisoning in Dogs
The exact toxin in the primrose plant is unknown. Some veterinarians believe the primrose is a ‘pet-safe’ plant to have in your garden. However, if it is ingested by your dog, symptoms of toxicity may develop. Gastrointestinal upset and inflammation are the most frequently seen symptoms, but more severe symptoms may develop.
Diagnosis of Primrose Poisoning in Dogs
When you arrive at your veterinarian’s office, she will begin by performing a physical exam on your dog. This will allow her to assess his symptoms and note any abnormalities of his vitals. If your dog is experiencing diarrhea, a fecal sample may be collected and tested to rule out internal parasites or bacterial overgrowth. A radiograph may be taken to rule out the possibility of gastrointestinal blockage.
If your dog has developed any type of eye or skin irritation, the veterinarian may take a skin scraping to allow her a closer look under the microscope. This will allow her to check for bacterial skin irritants or external parasites.
Basic laboratory work may be conducted to check for any damage to your dog’s internal organs. Blood work may consist of a complete blood count (CBC) and chemistry panel for a broad look at organ function. A packed cell volume (PCV) may be done to assess hydration status. A urinalysis may also be performed to further evaluate kidney function. Close examination of any vomit produced may also give clues as to what your dog consumed. If you witnessed your dog ingesting this plant, take it with you to the veterinarian’s office. This will allow her to identify the plant and the toxin she is dealing with.
Treatment of Primrose Poisoning in Dogs
The symptoms of primrose toxicity your dog is experiencing will determine his course of treatment. If your dog is suffering excessive vomiting and diarrhea, he will be started on fluid therapy with electrolytes to correct any dehydration and to prevent it from worsening. The fluids will also flush the toxin from your dog’s body system quicker.
If your dog is not already vomiting, the veterinarian may induce it to clear the stomach of any remaining plant materials. If your dog is experiencing any type of skin or eye reaction, flushing of the area will help. She may also apply a topical medication to prevent further injury to the area.
Additional medication may be administered if the veterinarian believes it is necessary. If your dog is constantly vomiting without production of any substance, she may administer an antiemetic to get him stop. She may also administer a medication that will protect the lining of the gastrointestinal system and calm any inflammation that may be occurring.
Recovery of Primrose Poisoning in Dogs
There is a very good chance for a full recovery from primrose poisoning in dogs. The majority of cases describe symptoms of gastrointestinal upset alone. With supportive therapies, such as fluids, your dog should remain stable and recover quickly. If your dog had any health issues prior to his ingestion of primrose, chances of a full recovery decrease. However, if you seek proper veterinary attention in a timely manner for your dog, prognosis is good.
If you have the primrose plant in your garden or home, keep it in an area your pet does not have access to. If this is unavoidable, train your pet to not chew on or eat foliage. If your dog continues to eat the primrose plant and suffer the consequences, you may have to remove this delightful flower from your garden in order to protect him.