Jump to section
The ti plant is fond of warm weather and cannot tolerate cold, so it only grows outdoors in places such as New Zealand, southern and western United States, Hawaii, Asia, and Australia. In the cooler climates, the ti plant is grown as a houseplant and will only grow to about five feet, whereas outdoors it may reach 15 feet tall. The sword-shaped leaves are green with yellow, purple, white, or red highlights and can grow up to three feet long and are sometimes used in Hawaii to create hula skirts. The flowers may be red or yellow and the ½-inch berries come in shades of red, yellow, green, and purple. These berries and the roots are the most poisonous part of the ti plant, which contains steroidal saponins and glycosides.
Eating any part of a ti plant, especially the berries or roots, can be a very dangerous situation for your pet due to the toxic substances, saponins and glycosides. The entire plant contains both of these toxins, but the berries and roots are the most toxic because the poisons are condensed there. A few of the most common side effects of ti plant ingestion are vomiting blood, weakness, and loss of muscle control. Saponins have the unique ability to foam when mixed with liquid (in your pet’s digestive system) and this creates the gastric irritation, drooling, and foaming at the mouth, hemolysis and cytotoxicity.
Some dogs who ingest the ti plant may demonstrate moderate to severe symptoms right away, or may not exhibit any side effects at all for several hours. However, you should see a veterinary professional in any case, if you suspect that your dog consumed any part of this dangerous tropical beauty.
The botanical name for the ti plant is Cordyline fruticosa (formerly Cordyline terminalis) from the Agavaceae family. There are many other names this plant is known by as well, some of which are:
The cause of Ti plant poisoning is the consumption of any part of the ti plant, especially the berries or roots. The poisonous components in the ti plant are:
In order to diagnose your pet, the veterinarian will need to know exactly what kind of plant was consumed so it would help if you can bring a part of the plant or a picture. However, if not, you can describe the plant and tell the veterinarian how much was eaten and when it happened.
The first thing that needs to be done is a physical examination, which includes temperature, weight, blood pressure, reflexes, pupil reaction time, coat and skin condition, breath sounds, oxygen level, pulse, and respirations. During the examination,be sure to mention if you have given your dog any medications lately, whether prescription or over the counter, because this can mask some symptoms and confuse the diagnosis. You should also tell the veterinarian about any symptoms or abnormal behavior you have noticed.
The veterinarian will probably take a urine and stool sample for microscopic analysis. In some cases, an endoscopy may be done by inserting an endoscope into your dog’s throat to check for obstructions or inflammation. The veterinarian can remove any plant materials that remain with a tool inserted into the endoscope. Your dog will be sedated for this procedure.
Blood tests needed usually include a complete blood count (CBC), blood gases, serum biochemistry profile, glucose test, basic metabolic panel, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and packed cell volume (PCV) to check for dehydration. Imaging tests, if required to check for obstructions and inflammation may include x-ray, MRI, or CT scan.
Treating your dog will depend on what symptoms the veterinarian has seen and what the test results indicate. Most often, the protocol for any kind of poisoning includes eliminating the toxin, detoxification, medicine, and hospitalization, although this last step is uncommon in Ti plant poisoning.
Elimination of the toxin
To eliminate the toxins from the system, your dog will be given peroxide or another emetic to encourage emesis (vomiting). Afterward, activated charcoal will be administered orally to absorb the undigested poisons.
Detoxing of the body
To detox your pet, the veterinarian will give intravenous (IV) fluids for flushing the kidneys. This also helps with dehydration from vomiting.
Some of the medications your veterinarian may give your dog are acid reducing agents (antacids or H2 blocker), antibiotics for infection from irritation of the stomach lining and throat, and corticosteroids for inflammation.
The veterinarian will not usually suggest hospitalization unless your pet has severe symptoms from eating a large amount of seeds.
Your veterinarian may prescribe medication; be certain to finish the entire course as prescribed. A soft bland diet will be suggested. This often includes rice and chicken which are easy on the digestive system. Provide a quiet recuperation location for your pet and monitor his behavior over the next few days, reporting any signs of complication to the clinic.
*Wag! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!.
Ti Plant Poisoning Average Cost
From 286 quotes ranging from $200 - $800
Protect yourself and your pet. Compare top pet insurance plans.
© 2021 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.
Download the Wag! app
Download the Wag! app