Gelsemium is a highly poisonous plant that’s mistakenly used to treat minor aches and pains, as well as calm fearful dogs. Despite its use in homeopathic circles, it's not recommended for treating your dog -- ever. In fact, you should contact your veterinarian if your dog comes in contact with gelsemium, as the plant is highly poisonous and, in some doses, it can be fatal.
Gelsemium, sometimes referred to as woodbine, is quite toxic. Sometimes, the root and underground stem are thought to be safe for medicinal use, but this is untrue. All parts of gelsemium are poisonous. In dogs, a 0.0005 to 0.001 mg/g dose of gelsemium can be fatal. Symptoms of gelsemium poisoning include difficulty swallowing, dizziness, seizures, breathing problems, vision problems, headaches and slowing of the heart. If you suspect your dog has come in contact with gelsemium, contact your veterinarian right away.
Gelsemium is used in homeopathic remedies to treat fearfulness in dogs because, in extremely small doses, gelsemium decreases blood pressure. It's also extremely dangerous, as all parts of the gelsemium plant are poisonous. Doses smaller than 0.0005 have less chance of being fatal, but there are safer methods for treating your dog's fearfulness. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help cure fearfulness. Talk to your veterinarian about other options.
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