Lovage is mostly grown for medical uses, but it contains phthalide lactones, which are toxic to cats. These are derived from the plant’s inherent oils which promote loss of fluid is by stimulating the pancreas to increase urine output.
Furanocoumarins are also found in lovage plants and cause photosensitivity in cats. After being consumed, the toxin causes photosensitivity by interacting with cells and lowering their ability to protect themselves from ultraviolet light, resulting in cell death and damage.
What Is Lovage?
Scientifically known as Levisticum officinale, lovage is a tall perennial plant that belongs to the family Apiaceae. It is endemic in Europe and has been used as a medicinal herb, as a vegetable, and as a spice, particularly in southern European cuisine.
Lovage blooms in umbels at the top of the stalks and grows up to eight feet tall with a base rosette of leaves and stems with more leaves. The stems and leaves are glabrous green to yellow-green in color and have a celery-like scent when crushed.
Clinical Signs of Lovage Poisoning in Cats
Due to their mild characteristics when compared to other cases of plant poisoning, the symptoms of lovage poisoning might be difficult to notice. Fur parents should be extra cautious and take necessary actions if they suspect amiss with their cat, to avoid further health complications. Common clinical signs of lavage poisoning include:
- Increased urination
First Aid and Treatment of Lovage Poisoning in Cats
One of the most dangerous adverse effects of lovage poisoning is dehydration. As a result, the veterinarian’s first goal will most likely be to rehydrate your cat, and he will likely begin fluid treatment. This will immediately inject fluids into your cat’s body, quickly rehydrating them while also assisting with the removal of lovage toxins from their system. The veterinarian may also opt to give activated charcoal to your cat or perform gastric lavage whichever he may deem appropriate for your cat’s condition. Medications to alleviate other symptoms that your cat is experiencing may also be prescribed to your cat.
Recovery from Lovage Poisoning in Cats
In most cases of lovage poisoning, cats typically recover within a week if they are not exposed to the plant again. The vet will not usually insist on a follow-up appointment unless the cat was severely impacted or has developed health complications.
When you get home with your cat, provide him or her ample supply of fluids. Keep them calm and comfortable indoors while they are regaining their strength.
Prevention of Lovage Poisoning in Cats
Growing lovage plants is not recommendable in residences with cats. If you are using lovage in your cooking, it is best to store it in cabinets or drawers that your cat cannot access. If there are lovage plants growing in your surrounding areas, minimize your cat’s access outdoors.
If you love plants but have cats at home, check out these lists: