As plants go clivia is pretty toxic and poisonous, in fact tending them you should always wear gloves. But as with everything there are levels of toxicity and clivia plants pose no real danger to humans apart from eye and skin irritation. The poison in question that is contained in clivia plants is alkaloid lycorine, but there is also clivatine, clivonine, and hippeastrine miniatine, which must be ingested in large quantities to effect humans. The symptoms are often salivation, vomiting, paralysis, and diarrhea. The whole plant is toxic but especially the seeds and berries
The problem comes with pets and in particular dogs and cats, and if your pet is showing signs of abdominal pain, drooling, vomiting, or has a rapid heart rate you should immediately take the animal to the vets.
Diagnosis of Clivia Poisoning in Pets
If you are pretty sure that your pet has eaten part of a clivia plant then you should take a photo of the part of the plant that is missing, this may help the veterinarian to determine what toxin the pet has ingested. Obviously if they can determine what plant has been eaten they can nail down the poison and then its cure. A physical examination will have to be carried out on your pet, which will look for vital signs such as the condition of the skin, the nose, ears, mouth, and body temperature. Lab tests are done next which will include blood chemistry, fecal checks, and urinalysis.
Sometimes even an ultrasound and x-rays may be required to look at your pet’s liver, and intestinal tract. There have even been instances of pets having to go though an MRI or a CT scan. Obviously all this can be highly expensive and it would be better if preventative measures had been taken before to keep your plant away from your pet.
Treatment of Clivia Poisoning
The treatment rather depends if your pet is a dog or cat, and also what species of animal they are. But most treatment plans would include:
- Vomiting – the vet will most likely give your pet a peroxide solution to induce vomiting to expel the poison. This should clear all the toxins out of the body.
- Intravenous fluids – because the pet has been flushed out it is important that fluids are replaced. So your pet will probably be put on an IV line to replenish lost fluids and to further help flush out lingering toxins.
- Medication – the medications administered are pretty straightforward such as electrolytes, and anti-nausea drugs.
- Observation – if your pet has ingested clivia toxins then the vet will most likely insist that the animal is kept in the surgery for observation, this can be as long as two days.
If everything is complied with and you got your pet to the vet in plenty of time then a full recovery will be made. But the simple answer to the problem is to keep plant and animal separate, there are many ways you can do this and are fairly inexpensive.