What is Sweetheart Ivy Poisoning?
Saponins are found in the sweetheart ivy plant. The plant carries chemical compounds that have foaming attributes, which can be toxic when ingested by a dog. Although not all plants from the ivy family are dangerous, sweetheart ivy is among the ones that are dangerous and toxic. Before you purchase any ivy plants, you should find out which ones are toxic and which ones aren’t. Getting accurate information is important to keeping your pet safe. While it is rare that your dog will experience life threatening response upon ingesting sweetheart ivy, you should always be on the cautious side and act quickly, if you notice that your dog is excessively vomiting, drooling and showing symptoms of aggressive diarrhea. You may have feelings of fear at that moment when you see your beloved pet suffering. However, keep a cool head. That is the time when wisdom should kick into gear. The most important step is to get your pet to a veterinary specialist.
Sweetheart ivy poisoning in dogs occurs when toxins are ingested and released into the digestive system while causing other exterior damages that could be consequential to a dog’s health.
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Symptoms of Sweetheart Ivy Poisoning in Dogs
There are distinctive symptoms associated with sweetheart ivy poisoning in dogs. Most of these affect the throat and mouth, including:
- Excessive thirst and drooling
- Rash around the mouth
- Pain and discomfort
- Loss of coordination
- Loss of voice
- Gastrointestinal upset
There are various species of sweetheart ivy. The species that are within the plant’s family are expected to be toxic or mildly toxic. The toxins usually present are:
- Hederasaponin C
- Hederasaponin B
- A polyyne
- Polyacetylene terpenoid
Upon coming in contact with your dog’s skin, falcarinol has a serious allergic response.
Other names used are:
- English ivy
- Glacier ivy
- Branching ivy
- Needlepoint ivy
Causes of Sweetheart Ivy Poisoning in Dogs
Upon ingesting a small quantity of sweetheart ivy, your dog will have an allergic reaction, sometimes showing as a skin rash due to the presence of falcarinol, which is a polyacetylene compound. The main causes of sweetheart ivy poisoning are:
- The ingestion of the plant, followed by the related symptoms
- Using products that containing falcarinol and other similar toxic agents
The irritation of the throat could result in your pet’s inability to eat or drink until the appropriate treatment has been administered.
Diagnosis of Sweetheart Ivy Poisoning in Dogs
If there are any clues that your dog has ingested seeds from a sweetheart ivy plant, you should consider taking your canine to the veterinarian. If at all possible, take a few of the seeds with you so that your veterinarian has enough information to provide an accurate and faster diagnosis. Your veterinarian may want to know:
- How much has been consumed?
- What kind of symptoms were noticed?
- Did you administer any medication?
Your dog’s symptoms will be observed by the veterinarian in order to come to the wisest medical conclusion. The metabolism and plasma concentration will be assessed as well as fecal samples.
Treatment of Sweetheart Ivy Poisoning in Dogs
The veterinarian may have to conduct further testing such as urinalysis and blood tests to provide the appropriate treatment. The veterinarian might give your dog an emetic such as hydrogen peroxide to test the contents of the stomach for lysergic alkaloids. This procedure will induce vomiting.
Additionally, if most of the damage is on the exterior, a topical ointment could be administered. If the dog’s condition has been deemed severe, IV fluids may be administered to prevent dehydration.
Surgery is not necessary in most cases where poisoning has been diagnosed, unless the situation worsens, such as in the case of an obstruction due to a mass of plant material in the intestines or stomach. Your pet will continue to be observed by the veterinarian to see which treatment shows signs of success.
Recovery of Sweetheart Ivy Poisoning in Dogs
Before your veterinarian releases your pet, she may continue to administer fluids intravenously, especially with chronic dehydration and extreme diarrhea. You may be asked to do more of this when you get home. Most pets will recover quickly with symptomatic and ongoing care. You may have to feed your pet soft and digestible food for at least a day.