Clematis Toxicity in Dogs

Keep your pooch away from this popular flowering vine.
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Popular among gardeners, clematis is a flowering vine from the Ranunculaceae family. While beautiful and decorative for the garden, clematis contains glycosides that, when ingested by your favorite pooch, can be fatal. Luckily, clematis has a natural form of protection -- a bitter taste. While your pooch may take an initial nibble and experience mild symptoms, a large meal of clematis is unlikely.


Initial symptoms of clematis ingestion include excessive salivation, vomiting and diarrhea. Contact with clematis causes numbness and tingling of the mouth. You may notice your dog pawing at his mouth. If your dog was able to get past the bitter taste to consume a large amount, more symptoms may occur. These include irregular heartbeat, breathing difficulty, weakness, kidney problems, delirium, convulsions and possibly death.


If you suspect your dog has ingested clematis, contact your veterinarian immediately. In mild cases, induced vomiting or activated charcoal treatments are enough to eliminate or nullify the toxin. If you dog consumed a large amount, he will need monitoring for more severe symptoms. If cardiac abnormalities present, intravenous atropine can help stabilize the heart. Kidney function might also require monitoring and treatment.