- If your pet has ingested any part of an azalea plant, contact your veterinarian immediately.
- Your veterinarian may instruct you to induce vomiting, however, do not induce vomiting unless instructed to.
Rhododendron spp; Rosebay, Rhododendron
Clinical signs occur within 20 minutes to two hours of ingestion.
- Abdominal pain
- Abnormal heart rate
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- Muscle tremors
- Blindness (temporary)
- Uncoordinated gait (ataxia) or staggering
- Death due to respiratory arrest (rarely)
EFFECTS OF TOXICITY
The azalea plant contains grayanotoxins which disrupt sodium channels in cell membranes, interfering with normal skeletal muscle, heart muscle and nerve function.
If your pet has ingested a large amount of azaleas, your vet may recommend a gastric lavage to evacuate your pet’s stomach contents. Activated charcoal may be administered to bind any remaining toxins in circulation. Supportive care and symptomatic treatment will be provided as necessary and this may involve hospitalisation, intravenous fluids as well as medications like pain relief and gastro protectants.
Your pet should be monitored closely in hospital as clinical signs may persist for two or more days. Atropine is a partial antagonist of the cardiac effects of grayanotoxins and may be used to treat animals with bradycardia.