Kalanchoe refers to a genus of 123 species of tropical plants native to Madagascar and tropical Africa. Some species are also found in Australia. Most of them are shrubs and a few are herbaceous.
They are ornamental plants found in house gardens. Some of them grow in the wild as well. They are very popular for its bright flowers which can be orange, yellow, pink, red, or magenta.
Characteristic of Kalanchoe plants
One anatomic distinction of these plants is that their flowers open by growing new cells on the inside surface of petals to force them to move outwards. They grow cells on the outside to force them back in.
The foliage of these plants is thick, green, and succulent. The leaves surround clusters of small flowers. What makes these plants a florists favorite is the fact that they can be forced to bloom at any time of the year.
Once they bloom, flower clusters can last for weeks or months. They propagate fairly easily, which has made some of them escape house planting to the wilderness.
Toxicity to Pets
Kalanchoe plants contain cardiac glycosides, which are toxic to all animals. In fact, in places where the plant is very common, poisoning of cattle and sheep is common.
The plants develop a higher toxicity in the summer because this is the time in which flowers naturally bloom and they contain a higher concentration of glycosides than roots, leaves, or stems.
Your pet can be poisoned if he were to digest any part of the plant, but it is generally not considered a highly toxic plant.
Symptoms of Intoxication
The initial symptoms in your pet caused by the ingestion of Kalanchoe include diarrhea in dogs and cats, and vomiting in dogs and cats. This might lead to dehydration.
In very rare cases, it can cause cardiac issues such as abnormal heart rhythm and a collapse. If you suspect that your dog or cat has ingested the plant, call your veterinarian immediately.
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