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Q. Is a poinsettia plant toxic to cats ?

Answered By
DR. MASSIMO ORIOLES, DVM, MRCVS

A. A lot of people have been led to believe that the poinsettia plant is deadly for pets and children, but this is actually an unlikely occurrence. The poinsettia plant’s brightly colored leaves contain a sap that is irritating to the tissues of the mouth and esophagus. If the leaves are ingested, they will often cause nausea and vomiting, but it would take a large amount of the plant’s material to cause poisoning, and most animals and children will not eat such a large enough amount because of the irritating taste and feel from the sap.



However, if the plant has been treated with a pesticide, your pet could be at risk of becoming ill from ingesting the pesticide. The size of your pet and the amount of ingested plant material will be the determining factors for the severity of the poisoning. Young animals -- puppies and kittens -- are at the highest risk. Severe reactions to the plant or to the pesticide it has been treated with include seizures, coma, and in some cases, death.

Answered By
DAVID ELBEZE, DVM, MRCVS

A. It has some level of toxicity, it can cause some irritation in the mouth and sometimes vomiting but generally the toxicity level is quiet low.


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