Choke Cherry Tree

Pictured: Choke Cherry Tree

Poisonous to: Cats, Dogs

Level of toxicity: Generally mild to moderate

Common signs to watch for:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Inadequate oxygen levels
  • Bright red gums
  • Shock
  • Death

Cherry trees and shrubs (Prunus sp) including the Chokecherry, 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.

Poison type: plants

Alternate names: Prunus, Black cherry, cherry laurel, domestic cherry, choke cherry