Dog owners must be especially careful when choosing trees and plants for their home or garden. Many species of plants and trees are poisonous, and can cause serious health effects if ingested by dogs. The weeping cherry tree is a considered to be toxic to dogs if any part of the tree is consumed.
The weeping cherry tree is also known by its scientific name of Prunus subhirtella "Pendula." This ornamental tree is a member of the genus Prunus. The weeping cherry tree reaches heights of 20 to 30 feet and has a weeping posture. During the spring, this tree produces a riot of pink blooms that cover the branches of the tree.
All members of the genus Prunus are toxic to dogs if parts of the tree are consumed. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or ASPCA, the stems, leaves and seeds of the weeping cherry are poisonous to dogs. Dogs that consume parts of this tree will experience vomiting, diarrhea, panting and possible seizures. Ingestion of large amounts of the cherry tree may result in life-threatening effects such as cyanosis, shock, slow heart rate, respiratory failure and coma. Dogs that suffer from cherry tree poisoning may die within a few hours of ingestion.
There are some warning signs that your dog may have consumed part of your weeping cherry tree. Panting, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing and brick-red mucous membranes are all signs of cherry tree poisoning. These effects are caused by cyanide, which is present in the stems, seeds and leaves of the cherry tree. These parts of the tree are especially toxic while in the wilting stage.
The members of the genus Prunus are also toxic cats and horses. The ASPCA states that life-threatening symptoms are usually present in grazing animals that ingest very large portions of the cherry tree. If your pet develops any of the symptoms of plant poisoning, contact your veterinarian immediately for an evaluation. Prompt medical attention is the key to your dog making a full recovery after plant poisoning.