Cyclamen and its Toxicity in Dogs and Cats

Cyclamen and its Toxicity in Dogs and Cats


Cyclamen refers to a genus of plants with beautiful flowers comprising 23 species. These perennial flowering plants are the delight of plant enthusiasts and found in homes for decorations during the winter season.

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Characteristics of Cyclamen plants

Cyclamen plants are also known as Persian violet, sowbread, and shooting star, among others. These plants are native to Europe, the Mediterranean, Iran, and Somalia.

Cyclamens are tubers, from which flowers, roots, and leaves grow. The plant, after being dormant during the Mediterranean summer, leaves begin to sprout in autumn, continue to grow during winter, and then die during the spring.

The plants include several tones of green serrated leaves. The flowers are pink or white and resemble butterflies.

Toxicity in Pets

Cyclamen plants contain triterpenoid saponins, which are extremely irritating and toxic to pets. The toxin is found in the leaves and flowers but it concentrates in the tuber. If your pet were to chew on the leaves or the flowers, he would probably not develop symptoms as he would if he were to chew on the tuber.

Dogs especially might dig the tubers out of the soil and bite them. When eaten, saponins quickly travel through the bloodstream, making it especially dangerous.

Symptoms to Watch for

If your pet has consumed small amounts of this plant the first symptoms you will notice are drooling in dogs and vomiting in dogs.  He will suffer gastrointestinal irritation. If he bit a tuber and in rather large amounts, he will probably suffer seizures in dogs.

His heart will also get compromised as his heartbeat will become irregular and increased.  Your pet will also experience trouble breathing, seizures, and if not treated soon, death.

What to Do

If you suspect that your dog or cat has consumed Cyclamen, call your poison control center or your emergency veterinarian. Make sure you can tell poison control what kind of plant your pet has eaten. They will indicate you what to do at the moment to reduce your pet’s discomfort.

Follow us here in Dogalize to find information about your closest veterinarian. We also have many resources to help you become the pet owner your cat and dog deserve. Visit us to learn more.