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Is Pothos Toxic to Pets? [Best Ways to Save Pets]

How beautiful Pothos look with green and thick, waxy leaves in heart shape with splashes of yellow hue! But have you ever thought if these beauties can harm your pets?

In general, Pothos is toxic to pets as it contains raphide and calcium oxalate. They can cause oral pain, drooling, foaming, vomiting, increased salivation, and swallowing difficulties when pets consume any parts.

If you place your Pothos on a tiny table or beside your bed, your pets will destroy them out of sheer curiosity. If not today, someday!

Continue reading to find out what makes Pothos a notorious houseplant and how to keep your pets safe.

Why is Pothos Toxic to Pets?

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Pothos can be lethal too

  • Large animals such as horses and cows
  • Small animals such as cats, dogs, and rabbits

The level of toxicity mainly depends upon the amount of Pothos that has been ingested. Also, what part of the plant has been consumed (stem, leaves, bulb, or roots).

Pothos produce insoluble crystals of calcium oxalate, which is a poisonous substance. They resemble sharp glass shards.

When these crystals come in contact with water or saliva, instead of dissolving, they begin to cut the tender tissues inside the mouth area.

dogs around the pothos
Dogs moving around the Pothos can be unsafe.

The shape of the crystal causes major injury leading to oral irritation and inflammation.

Isn’t it ironic that the most beautiful part of the Pothos plant, the foliage, is the most toxic? If you have sensitive skin, best not to touch Pothos with bare hands.

None of the Pothos variations are pet-friendly, especially the golden Pothos!

Learn how to revive the dying Pothos if your pets do mischief with the plant.

Visible Symptoms of Pothos Poisoning 

It is not life-threatening to most animals when ingested in small amounts. And, your pets are very unlikely to consume Pothos in huge quantities as irritation in the mouth region sets off immediately.

Also, it has a slightly bitter taste. Not an ideal pet choice for food!

However, if your house pet is very old or sickly, it might be in grave danger. 

Most symptoms will occur within the first 24 hours of consuming the plant. The symptoms are mainly focused on the gastrointestinal tract of your pet.

Oral irritation can cause excessive salivation. They may experience intense burning and irritation in their eyes, mouth, tongue, and lips depending upon the amount of Pothos they chewed.

Other common symptoms include lethargy and irritable behaviors.

Excessive vomiting or difficulty in vomiting is a red flag to take your pet to an animal hospital instantly.

Most severe symptoms include foaming from the mouth, trouble breathing, difficulties in swallowing, seizures, and unconsciousness caused by internal inflammation.

Diarrhea and liver failure have also been reported in a few cats and dogs; however, this is very uncommon.

In extreme cases, the symptoms can continue for as long as two weeks.

Treatment of Pothos Poisoning

Before you take them to a vet, you should try to gather as many details as possible regarding how many leaves your pet might have swallowed.

It is also good to figure out the time frame for the event. Inform the vet about your pet’s breed, height, weight, and age.

If they are allergic to any substance or are under any specific medication, make your vet aware of that. Keep an accurate note of their symptoms and discomfort.

If possible, bring along a small part of the plant and samples of vomit or stool particles produced after ingesting the Pothos.

If you delay taking your pets to the hospital, they might suffer from a wide range of reactions.

The toxic substance in Pothos causes calcium oxalate crystals to form in the urinary tract, which might cause health problems in the future.

Important Note: Do not try any home remedies or DIY potions if your fur companions are exhibiting any of the symptoms.

If you do not have immediate access to a vet, make sure you wash your pet’s mouth with clean water.

It will wash out the remaining crystals of calcium oxalate present in the mouth and relieve the discomfort.

If your pet has difficulty breathing, the vet will administer oxygen manually or by placing them in an oxygen vent.

If the inflammation is severe, your pet will be intubated to stabilize oxygen levels.

Antihistamines will help with internal swelling in a matter of 2 to 4 hours.

Depending upon the situation, the doctor may start with fluid therapy to flush out the harmful substances from the body.

This will prevent any kind of kidney damage while maintaining hydration in the body.

You will see that your pet will urinate very frequently. This avoids the chances of crystallization of toxins in the kidneys and urinary tract.

The Stages of Recovery

Pothos toxicity is relatively mild compared to other indoor plants such as snake plants, Peace lilies, ZZ plants, and succulents. Therefore, your pets will not suffer for an extended period of time.

Once the calcium oxalate crystals have been washed off your pet’s mouth, there can be no more injury in the oral cavity.

After 2 to 3 days, your pet should be good as before, as all the calcium oxalate should have passed through urination.

Important Note: If your vet recommends a quick follow-up, make sure not to miss the appointment.

How to Keep Your Pothos Away from Pets?

You might have a well-behaved pet, but even the most disciplined animals can get curious now and then! Therefore, keep your Pothos out of your pet’s reach and inquisitiveness.

  • Place Your Pothos Tactically:  You can hang them from the ceiling or place them on a book rack. Alternatively, place your Pothos high up in the air with the help of floating tops. Make sure to trim the plant frequently.
dog sitting under hanging pothos
Growing Pothos in the hanging basket is a safe to tame pets.
  • Make your Plant Stink: You can spray your plant with a diluted vinegar solution. Throwing some lemon peels also yields good results. 
  • Cage the Plants: Create a wall around your plants with some wooden pieces. 

If your Pothos is not growing well, learn the causes and solutions.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Pothos Toxicity

 Should I be worried about placing Pothos beside my pet bird’s cage?

Definitely! Pothos are toxic to pets and birds as well. Almost all kinds of birds can be prone to symptoms, including frequent body tremors, excessive excretion, occasional vomiting, depression and unconsciousness. 

Can I have a Pothos and a cat?

Yes, it is possible but you need to prevent the pet from messing with the plant. The easy way to do this is to grow cat grass at home. 

Are Marble Pothos toxic to dogs? 

The plant, with each part, including leaves, roots and seeds, is toxic to dogs. When your pet consumes any, it may suffer from diarrhea, vomiting and even liver failure. 

From Editorial Team

Train Your Pets to Avoid Plant Poisoning 

Teach your pets to identify the Pothos with some signs and appreciate or reward them with edibles.

Whenever the pets move near the plant, spray a bottle of water on them! 

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