Aroid Family (several plants)

Amber Waves Pygmy Goats
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This page contains information regarding a plant "known to be poisonous" to goats as well as other animals. This information was researched from various resources. Please note, that the author is not a botanist or specialist regarding plants. This information is posted for your reference and comparison purposes only.

Aroid Family - Click for a full size image Aroid Family - Click for a full size image Anthurium - Click for a full size image

ALSO KNOWN AS:
Several plants are listed in this family; Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema), Anthurium (Anthurium), Jack-In-The-Pulpit (Arisaema), Green Dragon (Arisaema), Elephant Ears (Caladium), Taro (Colocasia), Dumbcane (Dieffenbachia), Cut-Leaf Philodendron (Monstera), Ceriman (Monstera), Mexican Breadfruit (Monstera), Philodendron (Philodendron), Devil's Ivy (Scindapsus), Pothos (Scindapsus), Skunkcabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus), Tri-Leaf Wonder (Syngonium), Arrowhead Vine (Syngonium), Nepthytis (Syngonium).

As we obtain more specific information, we will list each plant separately with accompanying pictures and information. If you have pictures or information about about any of the plants listed above, please let us know as we would like to add it to the list.

DESCRIPTION:
All 2,000 species of this family of plants should be treated as potentially toxic. A few are eaten, such as poi and taro (Colocasia esculenta) in Hawaii, but only after the poison is eliminated by cooking. Seven species of aroids occur naturally in Indiana, mostly in wet areas. Jack-in-the-pulpit and skunkcabbage are the most common and best known of these. Dumbcane, pothos, and philodendron are potted plants of offices, restaurant lobbies, and homes. Aroids are perennials, many arising from corms or rhizomes. Some may be vines. The large net-veined leaves, which may have white or colored spots, are borne on leaf stalks that sheathe the stem. Most of these plants have simple leaves, but jack-in-the-pulpit has three-parted foliage. The aroid flower is a fleshy green, white, or yellow spike (spadix) borne inside a wraparound hood or bract (spathe). The fruits are brightly colored berries, borne in tight clusters, not often produced by the house plant species.

DANGEROUS PARTS OF PLANT:
Roots, leaves, stems.

SIGNS:
The plant cells contain needle-like crystal of insoluble calcium oxalate which penetrate the skin and mouth causing discomfort. In addition, the plants contain proteolytic enzymes which release histamine and kinins, causing swelling and an itching or burning sensation. Affected animals will shake their head, paw or rub the face and mouth, may salivate or foam at the mouth, may seek water, or may have visible swelling. Very severely affected animals may experience oral swelling to the point that swallowing and breathing become impaired. Typically, animals are not severely affected, since a few bites of the plants are often a sufficient deterrent to further consumption. Occasional reports of these plants causing kidney failure in cats have not been well-verified. Effects in cats appear to be limited to the signs described above. Some of these plants have been used with humans to prevent individuals from talking by causing excessive tongue swelling, hence the name "dumbcane".

TOXICITY RATING:
Moderate. Pets may sample these commonly available plants with a nibble or two, but rarely ingest any quantity sufficient to cause serious problems or death. Risk increases with hungry or bored animals housed in close proximity to these plants

ANIMALS AFFECTED:
Any animal that chews or ingests the leaves will be affected. In many locations, including the Midwest, nearly all of these plants would be grown as houseplants, therefore pets (including birds and reptiles) are primarily at risk.

CLASS OF SIGNS:
Mouth and throat irritation, salivating, possibly stomach irritation, diarrhea (rarely).

FIRST AID:
For minor irritation, provide supportive care and prevent further exposure. For more severe signs, if the animal does not improve within a few minutes, or if swallowing or breathing is impaired, consult a veterinarian immediately.

SAFETY IN PREPARED FEEDS:
These plants are not likely to be incorporated into hay or other feeds, but if so, the toxins are likely to remain.

PREVENTION:
Animals should not be allowed to consume these plants. Offer small amounts of fresh grass or other safe plant material (depending on the species), or remove the plant from the pet's environment. Some pets do not "learn their lesson" and may return to chew on these plants. In these situations, it is best to remove the plant from the pet's environment.

Purina Mills

Agricultural Research Service

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