Toxic plants

Is Spotted Dumbcane Toxic To Cats?

by Clair Chesterman
Is Spotted Dumbcane Toxic to Cats

The spotted dumbcane plant is poisonous and could harm your cat. Insoluble calcium oxalates are one of its poisons, and they cause severe discomfort. Dumbcanes may contain a proteolytic enzyme that causes pain and inflammation while also exacerbating the effects of calcium oxalate crystals, depending on the specific kind.

When your cats eat dumbcanes or any other plant that contains insoluble calcium oxalates (which are contained inside specialized cells called idioblasts), the idioblasts burst, allowing the insoluble calcium oxalates to pierce and penetrate your cat’s mucous membrane, causing the various symptoms your feline will experience.

What is Spotted Dumbcane?

Cat looks at Spotted Dumbcane

Spotted dumbcane, also known as charming dieffenbachia, exotica, giant dumbcane, tropic snow, and dumbcane, is a member of the Araceae family’s Dieffenbachia genus. It’s usually kept as a houseplant. This plant has an exotic appeal and has beautifully formed leaves with brushstrokes of cream, yellow, and white that emphasize the shape of the leaves. It is native to tropical America and the West Indies and demands medium light levels and moderate indoor temperatures.

Clinical Signs of Spotted Dumbcane Poisoning in Cats

Spotted-Dumbcane and cats

After ingesting any part of the spotted dumbcane, your cat will show signs of distress almost immediately. These signs and symptoms may last up to two weeks:

  • Oral irritation
  • Obvious irritation of the mouth, lips, and tongue
  • Intense burning and pain
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Excessive drooling
  • Foaming at the mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Lack of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Protruding tongue
  • Choking
  • Throat swelling
  • Head shaking
  • Eye irritation or blindness (if crystals touch the eyes)

First Aid and Treatment of Spotted Dumbcane Poisoning in Cats

Spotted Dumbcane and a cat nearby

Your cat will be monitored in the veterinarian’s clinic to ensure that symptoms do not worsen (breathing issues, liver and kidney issues). Any residual plant debris in her mouth can be rinsed away with water.

Benadryl, which helps to reduce inflammation and swelling, may be prescribed by your veterinarian. If her stomach is disturbed, she will be given Kapectolin to cover and protect the lining of her stomach. Sucralfate, which forms a paste when it combines with her stomach acids, might be used to coat the stomach as well. If your cat ate a lot of spotted dumbcane, your doctor will keep an eye on his breathing.

If she has trouble breathing, the vet will give her supplementary oxygen through flow-by or an oxygen cage until her breathing returns to normal. If her breathing problems are severe, she may need to be intubated until the edema in her airway subsides.  

Recovery from Spotted Dumbcane Poisoning in Cats

Depending on how much-spotted dumbcane your cat consumes, she may merely feel pain, stomach trouble, and diarrhea, or she may develop respiratory issues and develop renal and liver failure.  If you get your cat to the clinic as soon as you notice something is wrong, she may recover from spotted dumbcane poisoning.

It’s unlikely for any animal to consume a large amount of this plant because of its painful consequences. As a result, your cat’s chances of healing are substantially better.

Prevention of Spotted Dumbcane Poisoning in Cats

If you insist on having spotted dumbcane at home, make sure it’s in a room or location where your cat can’t get to it. It’s better to keep the plant in a room with the door closed or in a high-up area away from anything your cat could reach.

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

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