Wondering if Jade succulent plants are toxic to dogs and cats?
The African native succurent, the Jade plants are popular decorative indoor or houseplants that are native to South Africa. These plants are also called Crassula Argentea, which is their scientific name. You might know the Jade plant as a succulent, rightly so, succulents store plenty of water in their leaves, roots and stems. Other names for the jade plant include the friendship tree and the money plant.
However, most gardeners say that the plant is very toxic to pets, particularly dogs. Today, we want to know just how toxic the jade plant is, and some of the symptoms that we should expect to see on a pet that has consumed them. But first of all, let’s answer this question, Is the jade plant toxic to dogs?
The Jade Plant is toxic to dogs and cats. Despite their decorative nature and harmless look, Jade plants are very dangerous when they have been consumed by a dog or cat, and they can be fatal. The jade plant leaves in particular, when ingested, your pet may experience symptomatic depression, diarrhea, vomiting as well as an overall lack of balance.
If you notice any of these signs on your dog, you should contact your veterinarian instantly. At the end of the day, jade plants are just poison waiting to be consumed by pets. So much for being called “friendship tree”, jade!
Alittle About Jade Plants?
As I mentioned earlier, the crassula originated in South Africa. Others suggest that the jade plant is also native to some part of Mozambique.
The Crassula is said to be a genus of close to 1,500 species that belong to the Crassulaceae family. Every plant species that belong to this family is toxic to dogs, which includes jade plants too.
Similar to the cactus, Jade plants are succulents. The plant grows easily on its own. Because the leaves are capable of holding moisture for an extended period of time, jade plants are considered to be self-sufficient, but only to a certain extent.
Despite that there are numerous species of these plants, they all have one thing in common, and this is the cactus-like succulent leaves. Each one has their own characteristics, but they all have slightly smaller, star-shaped flowers that commonly bloom during the spring or early summer. The color of the bloom mat vary as some are white, pink, orange, or a pale purple.
Besides friendship tree or money plant, the jade plant is also nicknamed “rubber plant”. It can cause symptoms such as gastric distress, heartbeat irregularities and many more.
Jade plants can grow up to five feet tall when they are grown indoor. But in the great outdoors, h=jade plants can reach heights of up to six feet, with some going beyond.
The reason as to why dogs consume them is unclear, but I’m thinking that it’s because of the thick, egg-shaped leaves. These plants are just too eye-catching to our pets.
But the plant contains toxins that are still unknown, but they can affect any part of the body. Regardless of the part of the jade plant your pet eats, don’t hesitate to call the veterinarian or a veterinary hospital straightaway.
What Are The Symptoms Of Jade Plant Poisoning To Pets?
As I might have mentioned, the actual poisonous substances in the jade plant still remain unknown till today. This makes it a lot harder to know what the dog is suffering from if you haven’t noticed that the dog has actually eaten part of the plant.
Regardless, there have been many different side effects that are reported when a dog eats a jade plant.
Some of the symptoms are something as little as an upset stomach.
According to some veterinary professionals, jade plant poisoning may cause other more serious issues.
Some of the symptoms that are connected to jade plant poisoning are mentioned below:
- Abdominal pain
- Slow heart rate
- Impaired muscle movement
Types of Jade Plants
There are about a dozen types of jade plants, and all of these plant types go by the same scientific name. Below are the two most common jade plants
Also known as the money tree, the Crassula ovata is the popular above all others. It gets it’s “money tree” name because it looks so much like a tree.
Well, that certainly doesn’t tell us where the “money” factors in, but we are certain that it is because the plant is on a high demand in the market, and now popular across the world.
The money plant has tear-shaped succulent leaves that grow from 1.1” to 3.5” (3 – 9 cm) long. The plant develops so many leaves.
Other common types
- Baby jade
- Dwarf rubber tree
- Chinese rubber plant
- Dollar plant
- Jade tree
- Tree of happiness
- Japanese rubber plant
- Lucky plant
- Penny plant
Diagnosis of Jade Plant Poisoning in Dogs
The toughest part about jade plant poisoning is that you will not know what your dog is suffering from unless you see bite marks on your jade plants. In most cases, it’s much easier when you catch your dog in the act.
Any suspicion that your dog has eaten any part of a jade plant, call the vet, even if the dog hasn’t started experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above.
When you are going to the vet, consider bringing a portion or picture of the plant with you. For your local veterinarian to quickly help your pet reverse the poisoning effect, its helpful that he/she sees what it was your pet was snacking on. Eventually, this will help with the diagnosis and the treatment plans. This is a good time to tell your vet if your dog is currently on any other medication.
Your vet will perform a thorough physical examination, which will involve breath sounds, reflexes, heart rate, weight, temperature, blood pressure, and oxygen level.
On top of that, he/she may take urine and stool samples. These are examined under a microscope for any signs of bacterial and fungal infections.
Also, the dog will be sedated with a tube called an endoscope, in preparation for a procedure called an endoscopy. During this procedure the vet will check your dog’s airway for signs of inflammation or obstructions.
Soon after, imaging and laboratory tests will be performed.
How can you treat Jade plant poisoning?
Despite the fact that jade plant poisoning has been proven to be fatal, it is very much treatable, like many other diseases in dogs.
There is a procedure that your local veterinarian near you will follow when treating your dog. The procedure goes like this.
- Fluid therapy
Let’s go through these in a procedural manner- pun intended.
The evaluation involves two main things to be performed. First of all, the vet will give your dog ipecac by mouth. This ipecac is very important because it will induce the vomiting.
Soon after, your dog will be given a substance called Activated charcoal. This substance detoxifies your dog by absorbing the toxins that remain undigested in the stomach. Just like Ipecac, the activated charcoal is also given by mouth.
After evacuation, the vet will then take your dog into a decontamination procedure. In order to decontaminate your dog, the veterinarian will perform a gastric bypass by flushing the digestive system with warm saline solution.
How is this done?
This decontamination process is done by inserting a long hose through the mouth and into the stomach. So a pet is first sedated before this is done. Otherwise it could be disastrous.
Once your dog has been decontaminated, the next step is fluid therapy. In this step, fluids have to be given by intravenous (IV) line to flush the kidneys.
Besides that, giving your dog fluids will also help to rehydrate your dog, which further reduces the chances of dehydration caused by vomiting and/or diarrhea.
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When the above steps have been done thoroughly, there is normally not a need for any medication to be administered.
However, it is probable that your veterinarian will give your pet antiemetic, which helps to stop the vomiting. If your dog isn’t vomiting, then this medicine won’t be given.
The final step is observation. Unlike most poisoning in dogs, the poisoning caused by jade plants is usually minor. After the dog has been treated, you will be the one to observe it at home.
And maybe this time, keep the jade plant at a safe height, away from your dog.
According to Petmed, Jade plants are very toxic to dogs, and cats too. Once your pet has consumed any part of your jade plant, it may experience symptoms such as Vomiting, Weakness, Lethargy as well as severe abdominal pain among many others. If left untreated, jade plant poisoning can kill your dog.
So, if you have a suspicion that your dog has taken a bite out of the plant, call your veterinarian immediately. Your vet general takes your dog through the 5 main steps, which are Evacuation, Decontamination, Fluid therapy, Medication and Observation.
But I simply don’t understand why our pets would ever take a bite on these plants in the first place. This seems to remain a mystery.