Although decorative garden plants can add a lot of charm and ambiance to a landscape, they can also sometimes cause harm, especially when it comes to curious dogs. Castor bean plants, which are 100 percent poisonous to canines and various other animals, are just one such example.
About Castor Bean Plants
The herbaceous annual plant, which is known botanically as Ricinus communis, is part of the Euphorbiaceae or spurge family. The plant originated in eastern Africa, though presently appears all over the planet in tropical climates. Castor bean plants are often grown throughout the United States as ornamental plants, and they grow wild in many parts of the South. It is crucial for all pet owners to be conscious of their very real dangers.
Poisonous to Canines
The ASPCA warns that castor bean plants are highly poisonous to dogs, cats and horses. The beans of the plant are particularly dangerous, although the poisonous factor, the ricin protein, exists throughout all of its parts. This means that no one component of the plant is safe for a pet, although the beans are especially risky.
It is vital to make sure your doggy never goes near a castor bean plant, much less puts any part of it into his mouth. When a dog consumes castor bean plants, it may lead to a variety of extremely dangerous consequences, including seizures, renal failure, diarrhea, coordination problems, vision dullness, bloody diarrhea, throwing up, fever, abnormal thirst, throat and oral burning sensations, rapid heart rate, labored breathing, sweating, irritation of the mouth, excessive salivation, loss of appetite, feelings of weakness, straining of the lower belly, decreased blood pressure and shivering. In rare cases, castor bean consumption can even be deadly. In general, these symptoms do not appear instantly, but between 12 hours and 2 days of consumption. Even ingesting a very negligible amount of the beans can lead to severe results in pets. Any and all of these symptoms call for veterinary help as soon as possible. The sooner you seek assistance for your suffering dog, the sooner you can help him get back to health.
Appearance of the Castor Bean Plant
Of course you have to know what a castor plant looks like if you're going to keep your dog away from them. The herb tends to reach heights of between three and 15 feet. The leaf stalks are usually red or green. The massive, shiny, alternate leaves often grow to about three feet long. The castor beans, which are actually seeds, have a light brown color and an oval shape.
- University of Illinois Veterinary Medicine Library: Castor Bean
- Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association: Evaluation of Castor Bean Toxicosis in Dogs - 98 Cases
- ASPCA: Castor Bean Plant
- Pet Poison Helpline: Castor Bean
- ASPCA Professional: Castor Bean Toxicosis
- Union County College: Castor Bean Plant
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images