Are Bleeding Heart Plants Poisonous to Dogs?


Bleeding heart plants are poisonous to dogs and in some situations can be fatal. They generally cause toxicity that is slight or moderate in intensity. Bleeding heart plants are also toxic to cats, livestock and human beings.

Bleeding Heart Plants and Alkaloids

Bleeding heart plants consist of isoquinoline alkaloids. These alkaloids are responsible for their toxicity. Bleeding heart plant poisoning is particularly prevalent in sheep and cattle. Farm animals who consume these plants in excess often experience toxicity. All components of these plants' roots and leaves are poisonous. Dogs experience poisoning after they consume the plant in significant amounts.

Bleeding heart plants' alkaloid toxins resemble those of plants from the poppy family. Despite the commonalities, bleeding heart plants are not poppies.

Potential Toxicity Symptoms

If your dog ingested this herbaceous plant, you might notice telling symptoms such as:

• Salivation.
• Tremors.
• Diarrhea.
• Vomiting.
• Reduced coordination.
• Unsteady walking.
• Dermatitis, which is characterized by skin inflammation.

If your pet's bleeding heart plant poisoning is particularly intense, he might exhibit symptoms including:

• Seizures.
• Respiratory troubles.
• Death.

People who experience bleeding heart plant poisoning often experience similar symptoms to dogs -- think diarrhea, vomiting, breathing difficulties, excessive salivation and quivering.

Plant Identification and Other Names

Owners can benefit from learning how to easily identify bleeding heart plants to better protect their dogs from possible poisoning. These plants possess attractive pink or white blossoms shaped similarly to hearts. They're frequently seen in gardens, damp meadows and woodlands.

Other common names for these plants are white eardrops, Dutchman's breeches, Dicentra, soldier's cap, steer's head, kitten breeches and butterfly banner.


  • If you caught your dog ingesting bleeding heart plants or have noticed any potential signs of poisoning, seek veterinary attention as soon as possible.

    Never allow your pooch to consume or put his mouth on any parts of bleeding heart plants. Refrain from planting these close to your residence. Also refrain from letting them into your home as either cut flowers or plants. If your pet ever visits a location that has unknown plants of any kind, carefully monitor him to make sure he doesn't go near them and that they're never in any way accessible to him.

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