What is Seaside Daisy Poisoning?
The seaside daisy got its name because it is most commonly found growing along a water source, such as sea bluffs or ocean beaches and the blooms look very much like daisies. The flower rays (petals) may be white, pink, or lavender with a yellow or slightly pink center and it is usually about 8-12 inches tall. It is found along the coastline of the Pacific Ocean in California and Oregon. This pretty flower can cause trouble for your pet if consumed because it causes digestive disturbances such as gastroenteritis and abdominal bloating. The toxic properties in the seaside daisy are unknown, but if your pet ate some of these flowers, a trip to the veterinarian’s office is warranted because intestinal blockages have been known to occur from ingestion.
The seaside daisy is only mildly poisonous, producing mainly digestive symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. However, if enough of this plant is eaten by your pet, intestinal obstruction can occur. The symptoms of this can range from constipation to abdominal pain, but may become serious without treatment. If you notice that your dog has not had a bowel movement recently, you should call your veterinarian or veterinary clinic.
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Symptoms of Seaside Daisy Poisoning in Dogs
Although seaside daisy toxicity is usually mild, some dogs may become dehydrated or get an intestinal obstruction, which can be lethal if not treated. The most common signs to look for are:
- Abdominal pain
- Appetite loss
- Swelling of the abdomen
- Intestinal blockage
The signs of intestinal blockage are:
- Increased body temperature
- Vomiting blood
- Shock (cold paws, extreme lethargy, weakness)
The botanical name of the seaside daisy is Erigeron glaucus, which is a flowering plant in the Aster or Daisy family. These plants are all part of the Asterales order of the Asteraceae family. Here are some other names that the seaside daisy goes by:
- Aspen fleabane
- Beach aster
- Eastern daisy fleabane
- Garden fleabane
- Seaside fleabane
Causes of Seaside Daisy Poisoning in Dogs
The poisonous substances in the seaside daisy are still being researched at this time as are the rest of the plants in the Erigeron family. Ingestion of the plant will cause nausea and possibly vomiting; in addition the plant material may cause an obstruction as your canine’s system is not designed to digest large amount of greenery.
Diagnosis of Seaside Daisy Poisoning in Dogs
Even if your pet does not seem to be troubled by snacking on the seaside daisy, you should still make a trip to your veterinarian to be sure. There could be other underlying issues that cannot be seen until they become serious, such as gastrointestinal obstruction or infection from irritation to the soft tissue of the intestinal tract. Bring a picture or a sample from the seaside daisy to show the veterinarian and explain how much you think was ingested. You should definitely tell the veterinarian if your dog is on any medicine, whether it is over the counter or prescription, because some medicines may mask important signs of illness or injury. Take your pet’s medical records with you if you can and let the veterinarian know if you have seen any strange behavior or appetite since eating the plant.
The first thing your veterinarian will do is a complete and thorough physical evaluation of your pet. This may include weight, reflexes, pupil response time, blood pressure, oxygen level, coat and skin condition, breath sounds, respiration and pulse rate, body temperature, and examination of the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. In addition, diagnostic tests may be necessary to rule out other illnesses or injuries. These tests could include a stool sample analysis, urinalysis, glucose levels, blood gases, serum biochemical analysis, complete blood count (CBC), and packed cell volume (PCV).
The veterinarian may also need to do an endoscopy to determine whether there are any blockages in the throat and airway. This procedure will be done with an endoscope (a long and thin flexible tube), which has a light on the end to help the veterinarian see. The endoscope is hollow so the veterinarian can insert a tool to remove any foreign material and administer medication for irritation and swelling. Abdominal x-rays (digital radiographs) will be performed as well to check the rest of the digestive system. If the x-rays are inconclusive and your pet appears to be in distress, an MRI, ultrasound, or CT scan may be performed to get a better view.
Treatment of Seaside Daisy Poisoning in Dogs
If the veterinarian does not find any intestinal blockages, you will most likely be sent home with instructions for a soft, bland diet and plenty of rest for a few days. This will help the digestive system and stomach heal so there are no complications.
Antibiotics may be given to prevent infections and an H2 blocker or antacids to soothe the stomach. If needed, the veterinarian may also give your dog a corticosteroid injection to help with inflammation and pain.
In the case of an intestinal obstruction, the veterinarian may have to perform surgery if it cannot be removed with the endoscope. If so, your dog may need to stay for 12-24 hours for observation.
Recovery of Seaside Daisy Poisoning in Dogs
The prognosis for seaside daisy poisoning is excellent unless your dog has an intestinal blockage. If that is the case, the surgery has very little risk depending on the area of the blockage and what kind of surgery needs to be performed. Once you get home, continue to monitor your pet’s health, including appetite and bowel movements and call the veterinarian if there are any concerns.