Is foxglove poisonous to dogs? Symptoms &Treatment

Navya SwarupSep 13 . 7 min read

Is foxglove poisonous to dogs? Symptoms &Treatment

What are foxgloves plant?

Foxgloves with their gorgeous and towering flower spikes are a must-have in any old-fashioned garden. Depending on the species and cultivar, these biennial blooms can also be found blooming wild in USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) plant hardiness zones 3 through 9. 

Hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees love the white, yellow, pink, or purple blossoms. Still, we should be cautious enough while using them as a decoration or backdrop because they are very poisonous. The gorgeous trumpet-like flowers of the Foxglove have made it a popular plant in many gardens. It's also a native flower in many areas, and it self-propagates, meaning it will come back season after season. 

Is Foxglove poisonous to dogs?

This is a common question asked by people that is Foxglove poisonous to dogs? So the answer is if our dog eats foxgloves, they will become poisoned too. Humans, dogs, cats, horses, or any other animal are get poisoned by all parts of the Foxglove if they eat them.

The National Capital Poison Center (NCPC) advises avoiding planting foxgloves in areas where children or pets may be exposed to any part of the plant because it can be dangerous to them. 

Because these plants are low-maintenance and visually pleasing, they are a favorite flower in bouquets. Despite its attractive look, the Foxglove can be harmful to our pets and our health, so caution should be exercised if the plant is present in the home or adjacent grounds. These plants are so lovely and appealing to dogs that they are easily attracted to them.

Symptoms of Dog Poisoning by Foxglove:

Symptoms vary depending on how much of the foxglove plant our dog consumes, and the onset of poisoning symptoms varies. Some of the signs and symptoms are:

  1. Weakness
  2. Collapse
  3. Drooling
  4. Nausea
  5. Pain in the abdomen
  6. Urination on a regular basis
  7. Vomiting
  8. Diarrhea
  9. pupils that are dilated
  10. Tremors
  11. Seizures
  12. Arrhythmias of the heart
  13. Slowing of the heartbeat
  14. Death

If you think that your dog has eaten or chewed a portion of this plant, treat it as a medical emergency and contact your veterinarian as soon as possible because a little late can result in death.

Foxglove is poisonous to dogs for the following reasons:

The entire foxglove plant is considered harmful, regardless of whether any dogs or people eat it. Foxglove contains naturally-occurring poisons that have a negative impact on the heart. These are recognized as cardiac glycoside toxins and are known as cardenolides or bufadienolides. This drug is intended to help people with heart failure strengthen and control their heartbeat. This drug in a healthy pet aggravates the situation and causes the patient to develop cardiac problems. And because this poison can cause death, it must be adequately treated.

Diagnosis of Foxglove poisonous to dogs:

The veterinarian will begin by performing a physical examination on your dog when you bring him to the clinic. This physical examination will help the doctor determine whether vital signs are unusual and by how much. Your dog's blood will be drawn to see how he is doing on the inside. 

  1. The first tests will include a complete blood count (CBC), a chemical panel, and a packed cell volume (PCV) to establish a comprehensive baseline. To examine your dog's kidney function, a urinalysis will be conducted. 
  2. If your dog has heart difficulties, he will be put on monitoring equipment, and additional tests such as an ECG or an ultrasound may be conducted. 
  3. More tests will be requested if additional assessment is required to evaluate the severity of the foxglove poisoning in your dog's body.
  4. If you suspect that your dog has been exposed to this plant, directly bring it to the veterinarian with you as soon as possible, so the team can quickly assess the situation. If you know the timing of ingestion, or if your dog began acting unusually, include that information as well. Maybe this will help the veterinarian.

After the dogs have been poisoned with foxgloves, they are given the following treatment:

Your dog's treatment will be determined by the symptoms they are exhibiting. Because foxglove poisoning has no antidote, so supportive treatment will be used. 

  1. Activated charcoal, rather than being absorbed into the bloodstream, can be utilized to drink the poison. 
  2. Your dog will be given intravenous fluids to correct any electrolyte imbalances and dehydration. The veterinarian may prescribe additional medications, such as an antiemetic if your dog is vomiting excessively. 
  3. If your dog is suffering seizures, anti-seizure medicine will be administered to him. 

The results of the blood tests will provide your veterinarian an idea of what's going on within your dog's organs and how much the toxin is being metabolized. And then, with this information, the doctor will be able to prescribe medicines as needed for your dog.

Foxglove poisonous to dogs recovers:

The amount of Foxglove your dog has consumed will have a significant impact on his recovery. In addition, the sooner you take your dog to the vet, the better the dog's health will be. Because this plant's toxicity ranges from mild to severe, timely treatment is critical for recovery. Your dog will most likely be kept in the hospital until he no longer exhibits poisoning signs and his blood work returns to normal. 

We should become knowledgeable about the plants we bring into our home or grow in our garden. Many plants are hazardous to pets; it's recommended to grow that plants only known to be safe. 

When Foxglove poisonous to dogs toxicology:

Humans, dogs, cats, and horses are all poisoned by all portions of the Foxglove. Children and pets should not have access to any part of the plant, including the flowers and seeds, because they are poisonous. Foxglove can induce irregular heartbeat, diarrhea, weakness, vomiting, heart failure, and death, according to the NCPC.

If you suspect foxglove poisoning, contact Poison Control or Animal Poison Control at that moment only. If a medical professional recommends it, do not induce vomiting.

Growing Foxglove Has Its Drawbacks

According to Washington State University, the foliage, blossoms, roots, and seeds of Foxglove are very deadly. The plants contain cardiac glycosides, chemical molecules initially employed by William Withering, an English doctor, in the 18th century. 

Under the generic name digoxin, the drug is used to treat congestive heart failure and irregular pulse.

Keep in mind that the water used to show foxgloves in a vase could contain harmful characteristics. Because of its toxicity, Foxglove is a deer-resistant plant.

Are azaleas poisonous to dogs?

Yes, along with foxgloves plants, Bushes knew as "azalea," are also unusually harmful to dogs. Although many plants have toxins that make your dog sick, the azalea is one of only a few that possess cardiovascular poisons that can cause your dog's heart to weaken to the point of coma and death.

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