What is Sweet Potato Vine Poisoning?
If you have a garden containing the sweet potato vine and you have recently had to prune or uproot it, do not allow the debris to remain on the ground where your dog can easily reach it. Your curious pet may want to taste it. Tubers should also be stored safely out of your dog’s reach. If you see behavioral changes in your dog such as vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea, a veterinarian visit is warranted. If your pet is uncomfortable, wash the plant material from the mouth with water before leaving for the clinic. Bring a section of the plant along to the clinic for identification and a quicker diagnosis.
Sweet potato vine is a flowering plant and has a distant relationship with edible potatoes. However, when pets ingest this plant from the Convolvulaceae family, poisoning could occur.
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Symptoms of Sweet Potato Vine Poisoning in Dogs
Sweet potato vine is known for its toxic ingredients, with similar characteristics to LSD. Ingestion of the vine may have a poisonous effect on dogs. The vines are highly toxic and can adversely affect the kidneys, brain, heart or liver. Even eating small amounts could result in noticeable damage to your dog’s health. There are several symptoms associated with sweet potato vine poisoning in animals. These include:
- Reduced heart rate
- Dilated pupils
- Salivation and drooling
- Low blood pressure
- Numbness in the hands and the feet
- Difficulty with swallowing
- Liver or kidney damage
- Irritation of the mouth
- Increased urination
- Gastrointestinal issues
There are some plants that may cause serious symptoms for pets allergic to the specific plant. There are others that may not be as toxic, but if sprayed with chemicals, it can be poisonous. For that reason, pet owners should keep pets away from gardens or areas where these plants grow.
Causes of Sweet Potato Vine Poisoning in Dogs
If your dog shows symptoms such as blistering of the throat or mouth, swelling and redness of the skin, lethargy or loss of appetite, it is time to contact your veterinarian. Sweet potato vine poisoning is caused when your dog ingests the vines on the plant or the plant itself. If the plant is moldy, it can result in severe respiratory problems.
Diagnosis of Sweet Potato Vine Poisoning in Dogs
For an accurate diagnosis, your veterinarian will definitely need a sample of the vines and plant, so make sure you take those along with you. If you find out that your dog has eaten the sweet potato vine and is exhibiting symptomatic behavior, your veterinarian will ask for details as to what happened, the time when it happened and how much of the plant was ingested. Concurrent illnesses, the age of your canine, and the length of time between ingestion and the clinical visit will be important to note.
Bllod tests and urinalysis may also be required to deermine the severity of the poisoning as the veterinarian moves forward with the treatment plan.
Treatment of Sweet Potato Vine Poisoning in Dogs
If your dog is suspected of ingesting sweet potato vine, the veterinarian may induce vomiting as soon as you bring your pet in. Hydrogen peroxide solution will be used to flush the stomach, encouraging your dog to vomit. While your pet will be given the hydrogen peroxide solution, its body weight will determine how much. For every ten pounds, the dog will be given one teaspoon of the solution. This will be repeated every twenty minutes, but not more than three times until the dog finally vomits.
The veterinarian will make sure that your dog is fully hydrated by administering IV fluid. This is an essential part of the treatment because dehydration can cause other symptoms to occur. In most cases, surgery is not necessary as long as the situation improves. The veterinarian will usually keep your dog in office for a few hours to observe the changes.
Recovery of Sweet Potato Vine Poisoning in Dogs
It is critical to attend follow up appointments as directed by your veterinarian. This allows the veterinarian to check for any secondary effects. Your pet will be monitored for any complications. You should make sure that you either uproot your sweet potato vine or plant it where your pet cannot reach it. You could also train your sweet potato vine to grow vertically or put a fence around the area. Continue to hydrate and monitor your canine during the recovery process.
Sweet Potato Vine Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
My dog likes to dig up the sweet potato vine bulbs and eat them. She hasn't had any symptoms of poisoning except for being tired and very thirsty! She is almost 8 years old this month and an English Springer Spaniel. Should I take her in to Vet? What would I have them check?
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