The panda plant is toxic to cats because it contains insoluble calcium oxalates, a toxin. These oxalates are stored in idioblasts, which are non-living cells. The oxalates are protected by gelatin until your cat’s saliva causes the idioblast to open when it is chewed.
Raphides are microscopic bundles of oxalates found within the idioblast. The crystal’s one end is razor-sharp, and when it ejects from the idioblast, it buries itself in your cat’s lips, mouth, and tongue. Your cat will live as long as it does not consume a large number of panda plants.
What Is Panda Plant?
The panda plant is a Madagascar-native succulent. Panda Plant will eventually develop a tiny shrub with side branches. It grows slowly and takes several years to reach its full height of one foot. Panda Plant produces fuzzy, bell-shaped flowers in the spring and summer in its natural habitat. On the other hand, it rarely blooms when grown indoors.
Clinical Signs of Panda Plant Poisoning in Cats
Following consumption of a part of the panda plant, cats may experience the following symptoms:
- Intense burning of the mouth, tongue, and lips
- Oral irritation
- Swelling of the throat
- Excessive drooling
- Difficulty swallowing
After ingesting the panda plant, the symptoms can continue up to two weeks. If your cat was able to eat considerably more, severe clinical signs could develop such as:
- Renal failure
First Aid and Treatment of Panda Plant Poisoning in Cats
Your cat may be dehydrated as a result of its inability to eat or drink due to mouth pain. The dehydration can be exacerbated if it develops into vomiting or diarrhea. The doctor may administer an intravenous fluid solution to rehydrate your cat and aid in the removal of any leftover poisons. Your cat’s urine will not crystallize as a result of the IV fluid.
Your veterinarian may administer oxygen to your cat if he is having trouble breathing or has low oxygen saturation levels. This will help restore his oxygen levels to normal. Administering diphenhydramine (Benadryl) to your cat will alleviate any mouth swelling. Benadryl can also aid in the prevention or reduction of airway edema induced by the body’s inflammatory reaction. If your cat’s edema and respiratory problems are severe, it may need to be intubated until the swelling subsides and the situation stabilizes.
Other medications and procedures may be done by the veterinarian as he may deem necessary for your cat’s condition.
Recovery from Panda Plant Poisoning in Cats
Once all of the toxins and crystal oxalates have been removed from your cat’s system, it should be able to recuperate normally. The veterinarian’s treatment and recommendations may vary depending on the cat’s situation. Generally, healthy cats can recover quickly from panda plant poisoning.
Prevention of Panda Plant Poisoning in Cats
Keeping your cat indoors and growing cat-friendly alternative plants in your home is the best method to keep your cat safe and minimize the risk of plant poisoning. Familiarize yourself with toxic plants that can harm your cat and observe around you if there are plants like this growing in your area.
If you love plants but have cats at home, check out these lists: