The truth about poinsettias

Poinsettias are generally quite safe, despite rumors to the contrary. The rumors are traced to the 1918 report of a child’s death involving a plant erroneously identified as a poinsettia. According to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, vomiting with loss of appetite and energy can occur after a pet ingests poinsettia, but these effects are mild and resolve on their own. The same signs, along with diarrhea, have been reported after ingestion of Christmas cactus and holly. Again, signs are generally mild and resolve without specific treatment. The toxicity of mistletoe, a parasitic vine, is influenced by the plant on which it is growing. Serious poisonings, which are infrequent, are characterized by vomiting and decreased energy. If your pet eats any of these plants and then vomits, restrict access to food and water for a couple of hours to quiet the stomach. If signs persist, call us at 610-488-0166. – Dr. Pickett