Azalea Plant Toxicity
In addition to being renowned for its beauty the azalea is also highly toxic it contains andromedotoxins in both its leaves and nectar including honey from the nectar.
Azalea plant toxicity. The poisoning may be from an animal brows ing among the azaleas rhododendron indica. You don t want to eat the honey produced from the azalea blossom as it is known as mad honey and is poisonous. Vomiting not in horses diarrhea weakness cardiac failure if you suspect your pet may have ingested a potentially toxic substance call the apcc at 888 426 4435 or contact your local veterinarian as soon as possible. Azaleas and rhododendrons were once so infamous for their toxicity that to receive a bouquet of their flowers in a black vase was a well known death threat.
The toxic component of rhododendrons and azaleas can be found in very high concentrations in honey made by bees that feed on them. All plants in this family are moderately toxic to cats including all parts of the plants. The small deciduous species are referred to as the azalea and the large woody shrubs as rhododendrons. Azaleas are a member of the rhododendron family.
When ingested clinical signs. These plants contain grayanotoxins which disrupt sodium channels affecting the skeletal and cardiac muscle. This usually occurs in dense populations of these plants particularly in the mediterranean region. All parts of the plant are considered poisonous and as little as ingestion of 0 2 of an animal s body weight can result in poisoning.
According to the purdue university college of veterinary medicine these ornamental shrubs aren t commonly nibbled on but they can cause fatal heart problems in dogs cats and pet birds 2. Dogs and cats may succumb to the plant s dangers in this respect as the honey leaks from the plant. Azaleas can be toxic to goats and even a small amousnt of the plant s foliage can result in poisoning. In fact the majority of more recent reports of poisoning from rhododendron and azaleas occurred in turkey where people ingested the poisonous honey produced accidentally by.
According to the nova scotia museum some of the plant s toxins are broken down into harmless compounds in the digestive tracts of humans so it s rare for people to die from azalea consumption. Agingintodisabi on march 30 2013. 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. Azaleas are very close relatives of rhododendrons and can cause the same type of toxicity.
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