What is Rubber Tree Poisoning?
The exact species of rubber tree plant your dog ingested will determine the symptoms and effects. There is a rubber tree plant in three different families of the plant kingdom. Ingestion of each of these plants results in varying outcomes. However, no matter which rubber tree plant is involved, symptoms of toxicity are relatively mild. In most rubber tree plant toxicity cases in dogs, they recover very well with supportive therapies and the prognosis of a full recovery is good. If your dog chews on or ingests a rubber tree plant, you should seek medical advice from your veterinarian.
There are many plants included in the rubber plant family. Some species are toxic to your dog if he ingests it, some are not. If your dog ingests a piece of any type of rubber plant, you should consult your veterinarian on how to proceed.
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Symptoms of Rubber Tree Poisoning in Dogs
There are numerous species of the rubber tree plant, all with different names and appearances. With the wide variety of plants, toxicity symptoms can vary greatly. You dog may experience some of the following symptoms or a combination of them. Symptoms of toxicity may include
- Skin dermatitis
- Oral irritation
If you witness your dog chewing on or ingesting the rubber tree plant, be sure to alert your veterinarian.
The rubber tree plant includes a wide variety of plants. The Indian rubber plant, more commonly known as the fig plant or weeping fig, belongs to the Moraceae family and has the scientific name of Ficus benjamina. This specific plant is toxic to your dog if he ingests it resulting in symptoms related to contact irritation.
The jade plant is another type of rubber tree plant that goes by many names. It is also known as dwarf rubber plant, Chinese rubber plant, Japanese rubber plant, baby jade and jade tree. It belongs to the Crassulaceae family and has the scientific name of Crassula argentea. The most commonly seen toxicity symptoms associated with this species is vomiting and depression. The American rubber plant is one more plant in the rubber plant category. It is also known as the pepper face plant and baby rubber plant. The American rubber plant belongs to the Piperaceae family and has the scientific name of Peperomia obtusifolia. This species of plant is not considered toxic to dogs.
Causes of Rubber Tree Poisoning in Dogs
The varying types of rubber tree plants contain different toxins that will affect your dog in different ways. The Indian rubber plant contains the proteolytic enzyme ficin and the psoralen ficusin. Ficin is a type of protease that breaks down and helps the body digest protein as well as having anthelmintic properties. The ficin is what causes excessive drooling since protein digestion begins in the mouth. The ficusin can lead to adverse effects on the skin which is why skin dermatitis and oral irritation commonly develops. The jade plant’s toxic principles come from an unknown source. Scientists know that this toxin causes vomiting and depression, but they do not know why. The American rubber plant does not contain any toxic principles. If your dog ingests this version of the rubber plant, he is unlikely to develop any symptoms of toxicity.
Diagnosis of Rubber Tree Poisoning in Dogs
Your veterinarian will begin by performing a physical examination on your dog. This will allow her to assess his symptoms and note any abnormalities of his vitals. If your dog is drooling excessively or displaying other symptoms of oral pain, the veterinarian will take special care when examining his mouth to note any abnormalities. If your dog vomits while at the clinic, the veterinarian will examine the contents for any evidence as to what he ingested.
Blood work will be performed to give the veterinarian a broad look as to how the internal organs are functioning. A complete blood count (CBC) and chemistry panel will provide the veterinarian with needed information for proper assessment. A packed cell volume (PCV) may also be performed to determine hydration status. If your veterinarian feels it is necessary, she may also perform a urinalysis for further evaluation of kidney function. If you are unsure if your dog ingested a part of this plant, take it with you when you go to the veterinarian clinic. This will allow for proper identification of the plant and the toxin it contains.
Treatment of Rubber Tree Poisoning in Dogs
For any type of oral pain, drooling, or foaming at the mouth, the veterinarian may wash out your dog’s mouth. 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.
Since ingestion of the rubber tree plant can cause gastrointestinal upset, your veterinarian may try to induce vomiting in your dog. If too much time has passed since the ingestion of the plant, your veterinarian may administer activated charcoal. This will bind with and absorb any remaining toxin that has not been absorbed by the body. Additional medications to protect the intestinal lining may also be administered. Your dog may be started on fluid therapy to flush the toxin from the body quicker and to correct and prevent dehydration.
Recovery of Rubber Tree Poisoning in Dogs
Toxicity from the rubber tree plant may be considered mild to moderate. Factors including your dog’s current health status and how much of the plant he consumed may alter how your dog reacts after ingestion. In most toxicity cases, the dog makes a full recovery with supportive therapies. If you have this plant indoors, keep it at a height your dog cannot reach, even when standing on his hind legs. If you have this plant outside, keep it in an area your dog does not have access to, or be sure to monitor him while around it to prevent ingestion.
Rubber Tree Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
My 6 months old pupppy ate a seed of rubber and stem of a Tapioca.After that when she tried to walk,she began to fall.so she sat there and vomited.I gave her water.Now she feels ok.Will there be any problem?
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