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American Bittersweet

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Poisonous to: Cats, Dogs

Level of toxicity: Generally mild to moderate

Common signs to watch for:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Seizures

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The American Bittersweet, also known as Bittersweet, False Bittersweet, Climbing Bittersweet, Shrubby Bittersweet, and Waxwork, is a deciduous plant that produces bunches of brightly colored small fruit; these may be attractive to dogs, cats and children. The toxin in this plant has not been well established but some of the Celastrus species contain alkaloids that can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs and cats. With large ingestions, it may cause central nervous system signs (e.g., weakness, seizures).

Poison type: Plants

Alternate names: Celastrus scandens, Bittersweet, False Bittersweet, Climbing Bittersweet, Shrubby Bittersweet, Waxwork, European Bittersweet