Toxic plants

Is Paraguayan Jasmine Toxic To Cats?

by Clair Chesterman
Is Paraguayan Jasmine Toxic To Cats? 

Brunfelsamindines and hopeanines are two toxic principles found in Paraguayan jasmine. They can be found in all sections of the plant, although concentrations vary depending on whatever part of the plant you’re looking at. Lower quantities in leaves, flowers, and stems make them less hazardous. Berries have higher levels of harmful chemicals and are therefore riskier. Poisoning from this plant is extremely uncommon, and the specific mechanism of toxicity is unknown. Toxicity, on the other hand, is severe and can be lethal, as toxins act similarly to strychnine. Neurotransmitters are inhibited, which has an effect on the nervous system.

What Is Paraguayan Jasmine?

Paraguayan Jasmine in a vase with a cat trying to sniff it

Paraguayan Jasmine, also known as Kiss-Me-Quick, Lady-of-the-Night, Brunfelsia, and Franciscan Rain Tree, is a Brazilian native that is now becoming established in the United States. This Solanaceae family perennial shrub can grow up to three meters tall and two meters wide. The evergreen leaves of the Paraguayan Jasmine are leathery, and the flowers change color from deep purple to white over several days. As it ages, it produces brown berries with many seeds.

Clinical Signs of Paraguayan Jasmine Poisoning in Cats

Paraguayan Jasmine and cats

The symptoms of Paraguayan Jasmine Poisoning in cats are varied and can last for several days. To avoid severe consequences, the consumption of Paraguayan Jasmine should be treated as soon as possible. Symptoms that cats may experience include: 

  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Ataxia 
  • Lethargy
  • Twitching
  • Disorientation
  • Staggering
  • Rapid breathing
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Gagging
  • Proprioceptive deficits 
  • Hyperthermia
  • Hypothermia
  • Vocalization

First Aid and Treatment of Paraguayan Jasmine Poisoning in Cats

Cat and Paraguayan Jasmine

The veterinarian may induce vomiting and administer chemicals in combination with medication to cause defecation. Gastric lavage may also be used to remove as much of the plant as possible from your cat’s system.

Supportive care for symptoms of the central nervous system will be provided. Intravenous fluid therapy will be established to hydrate your cat while also providing an easy route for administering intravenous medication to address nervous system disorders.

Seizures may be treated with sodium pentobarbital, diazepam, primidone, or methocarbamol. If medication does not control your cat’s seizures, he or she may be sedated or anesthetized and kept alive with isoflurane gas. If your cat develops respiratory failure, he or she may require intubation and artificial respiration. As part of the supportive treatment, corticosteroids to control inflammation and topical ophthalmic ointment to address optical stress may be used.

Recovery from Paraguayan Jasmine Poisoning in Cats

The prognosis is good if your cat received immediate medical attention and there were no renal system symptoms. To ensure your cat’s well-being while recovering at home, discuss post-treatment care with the veterinarian. Give your cat plenty of fluids to help him recover quickly. If your cat’s poisoning symptoms return, take him or her back to the vet as soon as possible.

Prevention of Paraguayan Jasmine Poisoning in Cats

Remove any Paraguayan Jasmine that is growing in your yard. To avoid exposure to Paraguayan Jasmine and other toxic plants in your area, limit your cat’s outdoor activities. It may be beneficial to construct fences and install safety nets around your home as needed.

If you love plants but have cats at home, check out these lists:

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