Why are Honeysuckle Plants Poisonous to Dogs?

Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of B Balaji

Honeysuckle is listed on nearly every list of plants that is toxic to pets. This alone is enough to deter most dog owners from allowing their pet to chow down on the plant. In some cases, it can be helpful to know exactly the reason honeysuckle is considered toxic.

Identification

Honeysuckle exists in many varieties. Most are toxic to humans, although a few have edible berries or nectar. They are all, without exception, considered toxic to dogs.

Types

Two types of toxins specific to the honeysuckle family make this plant unsuitable for canine consumption: saponic glycosides and cyanogenic glycosides.

Saponic Glycosides

Saponic glycosides, when mixed with water, create a permanent frothing effect. They can cause not only stomach upset or rupture but also the rupture of blood cells, leading to inadequate oxygen supply throughout the body.

Cyanogenic glycosides

Cyanogenic glycosides are turned into the chemical hydrogen cyanide, a powerful poison, when ingested.

Treatment

Emergency veterinary care should be sought immediately. Ingestion of vomit is not recommended.

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