Tulip Poisoning Average Cost

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What is Tulip Poisoning?

Tulips are a popular flower due to their bright and cheerful appearance. They also contain glycosides which can be extremely detrimental to the health of animals that eat them. Poisonings can occur from consuming any part of the plant, although the highest concentrations of the alkaloids are found in the bulb of the plant. If your pet consumes material from the tulip plant, it is important to contact a veterinarian for further instructions. Consumption of this plant can be fatal, and supportive treatment improves the chance of survival.

The tulip is a brightly colored member of the lily family that contains a toxic alkaloid, Tuliposide A. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your pet has ingested the tulip.

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Symptoms of Tulip Poisoning in Dogs

Poisoning symptoms from ingestion of the tulip plant, particularly the bulb of the tulip, occur within just a few hours. When the plant material other than the bulb is eaten, it takes a relatively large amount before toxic signs emerge. Even a single bulb, however, is likely to elicit a much stronger reaction. Signs that your pet has ingested any part of the tulip plant could include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Coma
  • Depression 
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Excessive drooling
  • Lethargy
  • Seizures
  • Sudden death
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting


Although the tulip bulb is one of the more noxious of the plant bulbs out there, it is by no means the only flower bulb that contains serious toxins. Other plant bulbs that can be detrimental to your pet include:

  • Amaryllis bulb - toxic component, lycorine 
  • Daffodil bulb - toxic component, lycorine
  • Narcissus bulb - toxic components, lycorine, galantamine, and scillitoxin
  • Hyacinth bulb - toxic component, tuliposide A  
  • Onion bulb - toxic component, thiosulphate
  • Autumn Crocus - toxic component, colchicine
  • Crinum bulb - toxic component, galantamine

These plants usually contain their specific toxins throughout the plant, but the compound tends to be much more concentrated in the bulb.

Causes of Tulip Poisoning in Dogs

The toxicity of the tulip lies in the glycoside that it produces, called Tuliposide A, also referred to as Tulipalin A. This particular glycoside inhibits protein synthesis in the cells. Tuliposide has a very high rate of reactivity because it links at a double bond site. This glycoside is found throughout the plant but is concentrated in the bulb and is the same compound that causes a condition called “tulip-fingers,” a dry and often cracked thickening of the skin that occurs in people who handle tulips on a regular basis.

Diagnosis of Tulip Poisoning in Dogs

Identification is often all that is required for a preliminary diagnosis if the consumption of the plant was witnessed. If your canine ate a plant bulb and you are uncertain of the type, take a sample of any remaining bulb or plant material into the veterinarian to ensure a speedier identification for treatment. If you didn’t observe the ingestion of the plant your veterinarian will take note of any opportunistic eating that is suspected in addition to any concurrent prescriptions or supplements that your dog is taking in an attempt to reveal which toxin is responsible for the reaction, and to check for any drug interactions that may affect the treatment plan. A biochemistry profile will also be used to this end, as will a complete blood count and urinalysis with particular attention being paid to results regarding liver and kidney functionality. Any plant material found in the vomit will help confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment of Tulip Poisoning in Dogs

Initial treatment will depend on how long it has been since the bulb or other plant material was ingested, and what symptoms have emerged. If large amounts of the leaves or flowers have been ingested, or if your dog ate one of the bulbs, he will need to be admitted to the veterinary hospital for decontamination and supportive treatments. If the tulip was consumed recently, vomiting will most likely be induced to prevent the absorption of the glycoside into the bloodstream. Activated charcoal will be given to attempt to soak up as much of the toxin as possible. If it has been a more extended period of time a gastric lavage under general anesthetic may be more appropriate to remove as much of the material from the patient’s stomach as possible. There is no antidote to Tuliposide, so treatment beyond that is supportive, including intravenous fluids for dehydration as well as mixtures of electrolytes and sugars to adjust for any imbalances that develop. Oxygen will be administered to the dog as well if breathing is becoming difficult, and the heart will be carefully monitored.

Recovery of Tulip Poisoning in Dogs

A calm, quiet setting to return home to will help speed recovery for the patient. Although symptoms of the poisoning usually last only a few hours, dogs that are recovering from anesthesia, as would be required for gastric lavage, may have coordination difficulties when they first get home. They are often confused and disoriented, and isolation from other pets and from children may be advisable until both the glycosides and sedatives have fully cleared your companion’s system. In some circumstances, your veterinarian may recommend regular monitoring of blood chemistry levels for your pet, particularly in relation to liver and kidney functionality or impairment. If you have any questions or concerns as your dog goes through the recovery, call the clinic for advice.

Tulip Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Willie Nelson
Shepard mix
6 Months
Fair condition
1 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

none....just happened

Medication Used



There are some tulip bulbs my house sitter planted that I thought were out of reach. I caught my 6 month old Shepard mix chewing on the bulb but didn't end up eating it. Should I induce vomitting now??? All help appreciated.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2514 Recommendations

If Willie Nelson hasn’t ingested any part of the bulb, it would be best to at least wash out his mouth to prevent any local tissue irritation; but if you have hydrogen peroxide or can get hold of some, induce vomiting just to be on the safe side as the most toxic part of the plant is the bulb. If you notice any symptoms noted in the article above, visit your Veterinarian immediately. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

How long does it take for symptoms to accur? My puppy had chewed on a bulb just barely 12 hours ago I washed he mouth and induced vomiting with peroxide just to be safe. She seemed fine for the rest of the day. I just woke up and let her out and she has diarrhea. Should I be worried?

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Yorkshire Terrier
2 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms


My dog a 7 lb yorkue consumed a small amount of a tulip flower, no stem no bulb. He has thrown up a few times. A small amount of the flower came up. Now just bile. What should I look for?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2514 Recommendations
Small ingestions of tulip leaves or flowers results in severe gastrointestinal symptoms which include drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea; with larger ingestions we may see respiratory or cardiac symptoms. You should monitor Oscar, but I think your should visit your Veterinarian to be on the safe side as I don’t know exactly how much was consumed or the severity of the symptoms. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Chocolate Lab mix
10 Months
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms


So my dog bailey has just recently ate parts of the tulip bulbs after knocking over our
house plant. What can I do to make sure she doesn’t get sick ? I wanna make sure that I can catch any signs and symptoms as quick as they come on.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2514 Recommendations
The bulb is the most toxic part of the plant, you should have induced vomiting with 3% hydrogen peroxide and administered activated charcoal but this is only effective within an hour or two of consumption. A variety of symptoms may occur including vomiting, diarrhoea, increase in heart rate among other symptoms; I would recommend you visit your Veterinarian or contact the Pet Poison Helpline for assistance. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/tulip/

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4 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

My dog was acting like he didn’t feel well overnight. This morning he’s not interested in food and I found some vomit in the hallway. I trimmed tulip stems last night and I think he may have eaten a couple trimmings (an inch or less off a few I think fell on the floor) so I think he might have eaten those bc I saw a piece of stem in the vomit. It’s been 12hrs since he would have eaten them. Does he need to go to vet or just watch him today?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2514 Recommendations
It is good that Dempsey has vomited up the stem but there may be still some plant material inside her and these may cause further gastrointestinal issues or other symptoms; thankfully she didn’t consume any bulbs as these are the most toxic part. I would keep an eye on Dempsey for the time being but if you have any concerns you should visit your Veterinarian to be on the safe side. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/tulip/

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