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Mistletoe

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Poisonous to: Cats, Dogs

Level of toxicity: Generally mild to moderate

Common signs to watch for:

  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Hypotension
  • Walking drunk
  • Collapse
  • Seizures
  • Death

There are several types of mistletoe which can be poisonous to pets: Phoradendron serotinum (American variety) and Viscum album (European variety). The American mistletoe is less toxic than the European varieties of it. Berries from this holiday plant contain polysaccharides, alkaloids, and lectins. When accidentally ingested by our pets, mistletoe poisoning can result in mild signs of gastrointestinal irritation (e.g., drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain). When ingested in large amounts, abnormal heart rate, collapse, hypotension (low blood pressure), ataxia (walking drunk), seizures and death have also been reported.

To be on the safe side, keep your mistletoe out of reach of your dogs and cats during the holidays. If you suspect your pet has ingested mistletoe, contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline for treatment recommendations.

Poison type: Plants

Alternate names: Phoradendron, Christmas yuletide plants