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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21201
Experience:  As a veterinarian, I have been educated to treat all animals, big and small.
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My 6 year old jersey escaped into the yard and ate the top

Customer Question

My 6 year old jersey escaped into the yard and ate the top of a hosta plant off. I am reading they are toxic. What can I do??
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
Did Bessie get manage to eat the bulb?
How much do you think she had?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She ate the leaves of about two medium size plants
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
she is also bred, due to calf in about a week
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you,
First, I would note that it is the bulb of this plant that tends to be the most toxic. Still if she managed to eat most of the foliage from 2 plants, we could see signs of GI upset (appetite loss, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea) from this.
Therefore, to reduce the risk of toxicity for her, we can start by binding the plant toxin with activated charcoal. This is available over the counter at most pharmacies, but you may want to see if your local vet can dispense it or if your local feedstore carries it. Just to note, there is no issue using this during pregnancy. This is because we will need a big amount (in grams not milligrams). Wherever you source this, she needs 2-4 gram per pound of her body weight ever 8 hours. If you purchase the liquid preparation, it can be drenched or stomach tubing directly, where you can mix water into the powder version for use. And I would use this over the next 24-48 hour to ensure we fully bind the toxin and reduce the risk of harm.
Furthermore, since this plant toxin is known to cause GI upset and gastroenteritis, our next step will be to keep that stomach as settled as possible. Therefore, 2 hours after activated charcoal (so it doesn’t bind this too), we can administer Milk of Magnesia. This antacid will help soothe her stomach, coat any irritated tissue and help keep her GI settled. The dose for her would be 10ml for every 40 pounds of weight twice daily and should be given via oral drench or stomach tube.
Finally, if you do find that she goes off her food/water or has profuse vomiting despite oral treatment, then we'd need to consider getting her vet involved. They can administer injectable anti-vomiting medication and put her onto an IV for fluid therapy if needed. Hopefully, if we act quick and bind this toxin with the activated charcoal, we will avoid all that but we need to start the above as soon as possible to block its effects, keep her settled, and eating for us.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
Dr. B.
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