Is Euphorbia Poisonous?

Euphorbia is potentially dangerous as a houseplant in homes with young children or pets. Some varieties have sharp spines, like cacti, which can pierce skin. Broken stems or foliage often produce a sap, known as latex, that causes skin irritation and toxicity if ingested. Seek medical care immediately if a child or pet eats any part of a Euphorbia plant or comes into contact with latex produced by the plant.

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Photo by Harry Rose, unedited, FlickrCopyright CC BY 2.0 DEED

Is Euphorbia Poisonous to Children?

Euphorbia plants are toxic to children. Touching the sap produced by cut or broken stems or leaves may cause a rash and skin irritation. Euphorbia latex that comes into contact with the eyes can cause blindness. Eating or chewing on Euphorbia plants will irritate the mouth, throat, and stomach. Consuming Euphorbia plants is not fatal, but it may cause extreme discomfort, depending on the quantity eaten and the size of the child. 

Is Euphorbia Poisonous to Dogs?

Keep Euphorbia plants away from dogs with a history of nibbling on houseplants or curious puppies. Euphorbia plants produce a latex that causes rashes, skin irritation, and gastrointestinal distress. Some Euphorbia varieties have sharp spines that can cause additional skin irritation and puncture wounds.

Is Euphorbia Poisonous to Cats?

Euphorbia houseplants are toxic to cats. Kittens or cats that chew or eat the foliage or stems may experience gastrointestinal upset. The plant produces a sap that can irritate the skin and even cause blindness if it comes into contact with the eyes.

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Is Euphorbia Poisonous to Other Animals?

The sap produced by Euphorbia plants is known to be toxic to most animals. Keep this plant away from nosey pets or livestock. The latex produced by the plant may cause an upset stomach and skin irritation, depending on how the animal interacts with the plant.

Symptoms Of Euphorbia Poisoning

Euphorbia plants produce latex when damaged; this sap can irritate the skin and cause a rash. Eating the plant may cause oral and gastrointestinal distress. Always check with your doctor or veterinarian for guidance if you suspect Euphorbia poisoning. 

Here are some common symptoms to look out for:

  • Skin irritation, including rash
  • Blindness if the latex touches the eyes
  • Oral swelling and irritation
  • Gastrointestinal distress, including an upset stomach

Preventing Euphorbia Poisoning

The most surefire way to prevent Euphorbia poisoning is to remove the plant from your home, especially if you have curious little ones or pets. If you intend to keep the Euphorbia plant, place it in a location that is not easily accessible. A high shelf or a hanging basket are often good locations to keep the Euphorbia plant away from young children, cats, dogs, and other pets.

Pet Poison Helpline

If something were to happen to your furry friend, and you suspect that they are suffering from Euphorbia poisoning, there is a poison control hotline to call for 24/7 vet advice. It is called the Pet Poison Hotline, and their phone number is (855) 764-7661.

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Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 01-08-2024