Is Monstera Toxic to Dogs?

Adding a plant or two has always been one of the hacks to make the indoor environment clean and aesthetically pleasing.

Have you ever wondered what you might be risking with an additional green roommate? Because such steps can be extremely tricky and often even dangerous if you are a pet parent.

Among the list of several dangerous plants for your pup, you will also find a Monstera. IRONY of the situation, those breath-taking foliage could actually take away the breath.

According to ASPCA, the Monstera plant, containing insoluble Calcium Oxalates, is Toxic to Dogs.

A Dog Sniffing Plant
A Dog Sniffing Plant (Source: Flickr)

However, this shouldn’t be a motivation to toss your Monstera; you can make the arrangements to keep it out of your Dog’s reach.

Continue reading to know more about the Monstera plant, how it affects your pup, and how you can prevent and treat if your dog consumes it.

Why is Monstera Toxic to Dogs?

Despite their aesthetic look, Monstera plants are listed as toxic by the ASPCA

The insoluble sharp substance called Calcium Oxalate Crystals makes Monstera toxic to Dogs, cats, and even horses.

But the plant’s toxicity can vary from one type of plant to the other, depending on the concentration of the crystals present in the plant.  

The needle-like sharp crystal is the main culprit here.

Consumption of Calcium Oxalate Crystals by dogs can cause irritation in their mouth and stomach. When your dog bites into the part of Monstera, the plant’s isolated cell called idioblast breaks.

The breakage of the cell causes gelatinous material called raphides (a type of calcium oxalate crystals) to shoot from idioblast, which then penetrates into the tissue of your dog’s mouth, tongue, and throat.

Raphides destroy the sensitive tissues in the mouth, tongue, throat, etc., leaving the dog with a burning sensation.

Raphides-needleshaped-calcium-oxalate-crystals
Raphides needle-shaped Calcium oxalate crystals (Source: Researchgate)

However, you do not have to panic as soon as your dog chomps on the plant. Since most of the time, the dogs, after the initial painful biting experience, won’t go for the second one.

However, without the further ado, you need to seek a vet’s help if you detect any uncommon swelling, intense irritation in the stomach or if your dog starts to have difficulty breathing. 

Symptoms+Diagnosis for Monstera Toxicity for DOGS

If your dog ingests the Monstera plant, the signs of poisoning will show up immediately.

Although most immediate reactions are not fatal, here are some of the symptoms you can expect if your dogs consume the Monstera plant:

SymptomHow to Check?
Burning sensation in the mouthYour dog may whimper and refuse to eat.
Excessive drooling The unintentional excessive flow of saliva.
Difficulty swallowingIf your dog tilts their head to one side or throws their head backward while eating.
Stomach Irritation Loss of appetite
Vomiting and Diarrhea.
Mouth pawingIf you dog keeps on pawing its snout frequently.
Swollen red MouthYour dog may have inflamed lips, tongue, and mouth that are larger in size then usual.

However, if you are still anxious and unsure whether your dog is having difficulty or not, you should visit your veterinarian right away.

While visiting your veterinarian, make sure to take part of the plant your dog ingested, or even a picture of the plant works fine as well.

In most cases, once you visit your veterinarian, they do a general check-up of your dog’s pulse rate, blood pressure, body temperature, breath, and breathing sounds.

If the vet still cannot diagnose the poisoning, they can conduct an oral examination and sedate your pet to conduct an endoscopy to properly examine the throat and airway. 

Dog At Veterinarian
Dog At Veterinarian (Source: Zooplus)

Other lab tests like blood count, urinalysis, fecal examination, and carbon dioxide and oxygen levels are also usually examined to learn about your pet’s breathing and functioning of the lungs.  

In addition, the vet might advise your dog for an x-ray to have a better look at your dog’s throat, lungs, and stomach, mainly to check if there is any inflammation in that area. 

First Aid and Treatment against Monstera Poisoning

1. First Aid: Be there for your DOG

If your dog shows severe symptoms after ingesting the Monstera plant, doing an on-the-spot first aid treatment can always be helpful and provide some relief to your pup while you are on your way to your veterinarian.

A Plant Parent With Their Pet Dog
A Plant Parent With Their Pet Dog (Source: Unsplash)

Usually, your vet may suggest some safe home remedies like:

  • Take out the remaining Monstera parts from the Dog’s oral cavity. Wash it with fresh and clean water.
  • Induce vomiting (always keep an unopened or non-expired 3% hydrogen peroxide on hand for this)
  • Give milk or water to drink.
  • Observe (use a wait and see approach.)

Remember! Before taking any actions call your veterinarian for suggestions.

You can also call animal poison control yourself to seek advice from them aside from your vet. Pet Parent, ALWAYS keep these phone numbers saved on your phone:

  • ASPCA Poison Control (888) 426-4435 
  • Pet Poison Helpline (800) 213-6680 

In the table below, there are some first aid kits that might come in handy in emergencies like these:

First Aid Kits Contains
Adventure Medical KitSterile bandage materials,
Common medications,
Waterproof and Dry Flex bags
Kurgo Portable Dog First Aid KitIncludes gauze,
Antiseptic towelettes,
Sting relief,
Tweezers, and many more.
RC Pet First Aid KitEmergency blanket,
Saline solution,
Antiseptic wipes,
Exam gloves and first Aid tape.
Dog First Aid Kit for VacationSaline,
Bandages with ties,
Gauze swabs,
Microporous tape,
Alcohol free cleansing wipes, and many more

2. Treatment: Leave it to the Professionals

Treatment for Monstera poisoning depends on the test reports conducted by your vet.

Even after a thorough check-up, if your dog does not show any signs of swelling or damage, your vet might rinse away the plant’s residue by using fluid therapy; before sending your pup home.

There are other treatment procedures as well; I just hope that your pal doesn’t need any of these but here they are to keep you all covered.

MedicineDosage Purpose
Hydrogen Peroxide1 teaspoon
(don't give more than 3 teaspoon)
To induce vomiting in dogs
Electrolytes2-4ml of electrolyte
(per pound of dogs bodyweight)
To hydrate your dog if they vomit and suffer from diarrhea.
Intravenous Fluids (IV)100-200ml of fluids at one time. To flush toxin from your dogs body.
To prevent dehydration, especially if it is vomiting.
Activated Charcoal1-5 gm/ kgTo lessen effects of poisoning

ALERT!!! The treatment process and the medicines are provided here for informational purposes only. Consult your veterinarian first.

Likewise, your vet may add nutrients to your dog’s IV fluid, as it might feel up to par to have an appetite for a normal meal. Such steps allow your pup to retain energy for the healing process.

Also Watch,

Recovery from Monstera Poisoning

In severe cases, your veterinarian may also keep your dog in the clinic for a few hours or overnight to observe any further swelling or any plant remaining in your dog’s stomach.  

Once your vet allows a discharge, your dog should be fine to go home. However, even after going home, do not expect your pup to be fit and fine instantly.

Your pet may suffer through some appetite loss for a day or two

Sick dog sadly lying alone in bed
A sick puppy (Source: Unsplash)

Your vet may also recommend a mild diet during the phase of appetite loss. You can provide your pup with some boiled lean meat like chicken or turkey; and starchy food like cooked rice or sweet potato.

Be Patient and make sure to provide your pet with plenty of fresh water and give a quick call to your vet as soon as any confusion arises.

Prevent Your Dog from Eating Monstera

Dogs are curious creatures by nature, so it is quite hard for us to know what might ignite their curiosity.

So, it is upon us to take measures and make sure dangerous things like the Monstera plant are out of reach from the fur babies.

Here are some of the things you can do to prevent your dog from eating your Monstera plant:

1. Out of Sight: Out of Mind

You can do this by installing your plant in a lockable room.

Hanging or placing the Monstera on top of a high cabinet such that your pet won’t have any access even when you’re not around is the safest idea.

You can also cage your plant in a glass vivarium or greenhouse cabinets.

2. Grow Pet-Friendly Plants

If you are both a plant enthusiast and a dog lover, another thing you can do is purchase pet-friendly plants like Echeveria, Sedum, Asparagus fern, Prayer plants, Spider plants, and many more. 

Dogs nibbling on safer plants like basil, thyme, lemongrass, grass, etc., is not much of an issue for them.

3. Train Accordingly

Discourage your dogs from eating your plant. Dogs are quite trainable and patient. Train them not to go near those plants.

You can also spray your plants with citrus fruits to discourage your dogs from chewing the plant, as dogs do not like the citrusy smell.

Many also suggest using cayenne pepper or vinegar to keep the pets away from the Monstera plant. 

You know your Pet better. Try any methods you want but maintain the distance. It will be helpful for both of your pals.

Conclusion

So, the bottom line is that being a pet owner means that you always need to be on your toes and accept that your pet cannot just help its curiosity, leading them to nibble on things that they are not supposed to. 

Loving plants and being dog parents can be difficult, but our responsibility is always to be ahead and keep plants like Monstera, which is now proven to be toxic to dogs, away.

Because, hey! Prevention is always better than cure. 

Ingesting the Monstera plant can cause sharp pain in your dog’s mouth, tongue, throat, and stomach, but it is usually not that fatal until your dog eats it in excessive amounts.

Always call your veterinarian and ask for suggestions before taking any actions and immediately run to your vet if you observe any severe signs and symptoms. 

As mentioned earlier, there are a list of Toxic Plants for your pets. The detail af some of them like: Rubber Plant, Peace Lily, Aloe Vera etc., are covered in Plants Craze.

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