Poisonous to+

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cats, dogs

Level of toxicity+

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Generally mild to moderate

Common signs to watch for+

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Dilated pupils
Difficulty breathing
Inadequate oxygen levels
Bright red gums


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Cherry trees and shrubs (Prunus sp) including the Choke cherry, Black cherry and cherry laurel contain cyanogenic glycosides. All parts of these plants other than the ripe pulp around the seeds are considered toxic and contain cyanide. Cyanide inhibits cytochrome oxidase, an enzyme necessary for cellular oxygen transport, preventing appropriate oxygen uptake by cells. When ingested in toxic amounts, clinical signs of dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, inadequate oxygen levels, bright red gums, shock, and death can be seen.

Alternate names+

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domestic cherry, ground cherry, wild cherry, Prunus, Choke cherry, Black cherry, cherry laurel


Cherry Tree

Pictured: Cherry Tree