Skunk Cabbage Poisoning in Dogs


What is Skunk Cabbage Poisoning?

Symplocarpus foetidus, most frequently known as the skunk cabbage, is a foul-smelling plant that grows low to the ground in the wetlands of the eastern parts of The United States and Canada. All parts of the skunk cabbage include insoluble calcium oxalate crystals that can trigger severe discomfort and inflammation when the plant is chewed or swallowed. This inflammation generally avoids animals from doing more than tasting the plant, however on unusual events, dogs might swallow big quantities of plant product. Signs might consist of drooling, problem swallowing, vocalization of pain and distress, and in some cases, heart arrhythmia. Consumption of a possibly hazardous plant ought to be examined by a certified vet.

Symplocarpus foetidus, likewise known as the skunk cabbage, consists of calcium oxalate crystals which can trigger extreme discomfort and inflammation in the mouth and intestinal system when chewed or swallowed.

Signs of Skunk Cabbage Poisoning in Dogs

The skunk cabbage consists of insoluble calcium oxalate crystals in all parts of the plant. When chewed or swallowed these crystals can trigger: 

  • Heart arrhythmia
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated eyes 
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Extreme drooling
  • Hoarse barking
  • Labored breathing
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Feeling numb of exposed location
  • Blockage of the respiratory tract
  • Pawing/rubbing at the face or mouth
  • Swelling of the lips or tongue
  • Vocalization
  • Throwing Up


The skunk cabbage is a low-growing plant belonging to the eastern side of the North American continent. Symplocarpus foetidus is most frequently known as skunk cabbage, however it has actually likewise been described as meadow cabbage and clumpfoot cabbage. Numerous other kinds of plants include insoluble calcium oxalate crystals which are the reason for inflammation from skunk cabbage range plants. These plants can consist of: 

  • Arrowhead vine (Syngonium podophyllum)
  • Calla or arum lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica)
  • Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestrum)
  • Dumbcane (Dieffenbachia)
  • Flamingo plant (Anthurium)
  • Fruit salad plant (Monstera)
  • Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)
  • Philodendron (Philodendron)
  • Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum)
  • Wild calla (Calla)

Reasons For Skunk Cabbage Poisoning in Dogs

All parts of the skunk cabbage plant include the calcium oxalate crystals that trigger your family pet discomfort and swelling in the mouth. Calcium oxalate is a calcium salt of oxalic acid which produces immediate discomfort and inflammation to any soft tissues it comes in contact with. Chewing any part of the plant might trigger swelling and swelling of the mouth, lips, tongue, and throat locations as the insoluble crystals can permeate the soft tissues quickly. If any of the sap or plant product is swallowed, the swelling can reach the throat, esophagus, and stomach triggering internal swelling and discomfort. The swelling might trigger extreme breathing problem if the respiratory tract is obstructed, and intubation might be needed throughout treatment.

Medical Diagnosis of Skunk Cabbage Poisoning in Dogs

A lot of the signs of direct exposure to the calcium oxalate crystals from the anthurium plants will provide instantly. In many cases though, signs can take approximately 2 hours to appear. If you are uncertain of what your family pet consumed or if your canine consumed considerable quantities of the plant product, your vet might suggest a check out to the workplace. Bring a piece of the skunk cabbage plant with you to the center. This might assist to accelerate the medical diagnosis and subsequent treatment.

Your family pet’s physician will wish to take specific note of any opportunistic consuming that is presumed, in addition to any vitamins, supplements, or medications that your canine handles a routine basis. A total blood count, biochemistry profile, and urinalysis will generally be done at this time too, in order to reveal any underlying illness procedures or conditions. If your canine has actually consumed enough of the plant product that he is throwing up, then the vomitus will likewise be analyzed and checked for contaminants. Plant product in the vomit might assist verify the medical diagnosis.

Treatment of Skunk Cabbage Poisoning in Dogs

A call to the center might result in the suggestions that you begin with an extensive rinsing of the mouth and impacted locations with clean water to eliminate as much of the crystals as possible. You might wish to provide your canine something cool to consume or consume to reduce the discomfort prior to heading to the center. In most cases, the pain and undesirable taste will avoid dogs from consuming much of the real plant product therefore an extensive rinsing of the mouth location might be all that is required to prevent additional discomfort and soothe your canine. In specific scenarios, your vet will suggest offering your canine a suitable painkiller or antihistamine too. 

If a bigger quantity of the plant product or sap was consumed, a check out to the vet’s workplace might be required to deal with the signs. Intravenous fluid treatment will be most most likely offered to avoid dehydration and if an antihistamine was not formerly administered, it might be recommended at this time as an intramuscular injection. Discomfort relief if required, in addition to gastro-protective medications might likewise be suggested to avoid damage to the lining of the stomach. If the respiratory tract is considerably inflamed, your dog might require to be kept under observation at the workplace up until the vet feels your canine runs out risk.

Healing of Skunk Cabbage Poisoning in Dogs

Diagnosis for dogs impacted by consuming smaller sized quantities of the plants consisting of the calcium oxalate crystals, such as the skunk cabbage plant, is generally rather great. Any swelling in the respiratory tract needs to be assessed and kept an eye on by a vet. The impacts of the crystals in the mouth and intestinal system generally dissipate within twelve to twenty-four hours from intake. Huge dosages are unusual due to the preliminary discomfort and pain in the mouth. When they do happen, they can trigger liver and kidney damage, so the liver and kidneys might require routine tracking in the occasion of the intake of big amounts of the skunk cabbage plant.

Like it? Share with your friends!