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Hydrangea Plants & Dogs

By Contributor ; Updated September 21, 2017

The hydrangea is a type of flowering plant that comes from eastern and southern Asia (nations such as Japan, China, Korea and Indonesia), as well as both South and North America. There are particularly many varieties of the hydrangea in Asia. They range from small trees to shrubs, and some of them are lianas, growing over 98 feet high. Hydrangeas are either evergreen or deciduous. For those planning to cultivate hydrangeas, however, it is very important to be aware that this plant can be poisonous to dogs.


Certain parts of hydrangeas are particularly dangerous and toxic to dogs. These parts are the buds and the leaves. Owners of dogs should make sure that their pets steer clear of hydrangeas, and make sure that the buds and leaves go nowhere near their mouths.

Common Symptoms

Dogs that consume the buds or the leaves of the hydrangeas could end up experiencing inflammation and irritation of the digestive tract, and common symptoms such as bloody stools and diarrhea.

Other Symptoms

Other possible symptoms that dogs could experience as a result of being poisoned by hydrangeas include rapid heart rate, loss of weight, insufficient oxygen within the blood (known as cyanosis), body temperature increase, respiratory congestion, the gums becoming very red, depression, fever and throwing up. Some extremely severe possible effects include coma and seizures, and in some cases, possibly even death.


If a dog experiences gastric upset due to hydrangea poisoning, one way to remedy the situation is by feeding them bland meals for a day, to help settle their stomach. Examples of bland meals include hamburger (with all of the fat drained away) and boiled chicken meat. In serious cases when the symptoms do not seem to stop, take the dog in immediately for emergency veterinary care.


Dog owners with hydrangeas must make sure they are nowhere near the dog's resting spaces or where the dog might feel the temptation to chew on the plants. If a dog is anywhere near hydrangeas and experiences symptoms of digestive upset, take immediate action. (Take the dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible.)


When dogs consume hydrangeas, the plants can act as cyanide and can stop the dog's cells from properly making ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which is essential for energy. This could result in the central nervous system shutting down, and is therefore potentially very dangerous.


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