Schefflera arboricola, also known as the umbrella tree, Australian ivy palm, octopus tree and starleaf, is an evergreen shrub or small tree native to Taiwan. It is a common indoor plant or used as an accent hedge in areas with a tropical climate and mild winters. Unfortunately, this decorative plant is not dog friendly and contains calcium oxalate crystals that are toxic.
When your dog chews or bites into a Schefflera arboricola, calcium oxalate crystals enter the oral tissue, resulting in immediate pain in the lips, gums and tongue. You may notice your dog pawing at his face as a way to relieve the pain. Other symptoms include drooling, foaming and vomiting. Your dog’s airway or throat may swell, making breathing and swallowing difficult. If your dog can get past the initial oral pain and he ingests large amounts, symptoms can include gastrointestinal upset, convulsions, renal failure, coma and death. If you suspect your dog ingested the plant, take him to the vet immediately.
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