Is Lobelia Poisonous?

Both perennial and annual lobelias are considered toxic to humans and animals. The plant is considered toxic but has been used medicinally when prescribed by a doctor. Lobelia has been used historically as a medicine to induce vomiting, which is how it became known commonly as pokeweed. Native Americans used the plant as a treatment for asthma since it is known to clear mucus from the respiratory tract.

All parts of the plant are toxic and can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, rapid heartbeat and other symptoms. The plant contains toxic alkaloids including lobeline. Contact your doctor or veterinarian immediately if you, someone you know, or your pet has ingested lobelia. 

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Are Lobelia Poisonous to Children?

Lobelia is considered toxic for children, toddlers, and babies to ingest. All parts of the plant are toxic, especially if ingested in large amounts. It is not harmful to come into skin contact with lobelia foliage or flowers. 

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Are Lobelia Poisonous to Dogs?

Lobelia is considered toxic for dogs and puppies. All parts of the plant are toxic to ingest, especially in large amounts. It is not harmful to come into skin contact with lobelia foliage or flowers. Lobelia contains toxic alkaloids that can cause vomiting, excessive salivation, rapid heartbeat, and abdominal pain. 

While the plant is toxic, dogs are not particularly drawn or tempted to chew on lobelia. 

Are Lobelia Poisonous to Cats?

Lobelia is considered toxic for cats and kittens. All parts of the plant are toxic to ingest, especially in large amounts. It is not harmful to come into skin contact with lobelia foliage or flowers. Lobelia contains toxic alkaloids that can cause vomiting, excessive salivation, rapid heartbeat, depression, nasal discharge, and abdominal pain. 

While the plant is toxic, cats are not particularly drawn or tempted to chew on lobelia. 

Are Lobelia Poisonous to Other Animals?

Lobelia is toxic for horses, cattle, sheep, goats, and other wildlife. Symptoms are the same for cat and dog poisoning. Most animals are not interested in eating lobelia, so it is not a problem. Lobelia is considered deer resistant since the animals avoid ingesting all parts of the plant. 

Symptoms Of Lobelia Poisoning

Always check with your doctor or veterinarian for guidance if you suspect lobelia poisoning. All parts of the plant are toxic and contain toxic alkaloids including lobeline.

Here are some common symptoms to look out for:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Tremors
  • Depression
  • Rapid Heartbeat 
  • Profuse Sweating
  • Mental Confusion
  • Convulsions 

Preventing Lobelia Poisoning

Lobelia is considered toxic to children and adults. It is important to grow the plant out of reach of young children. While lobelia is a toxic plant, most animals including cats and dogs do not typically attempt to taste the plant. Wild and domestic animals alike will be deterred by the scent of the plant. If you have a puppy or kitten, keep the young animal away from lobelia plants by using leashes or physical barriers. If physical barriers are not enough to keep your children or animals away from your lobelia plants, remove the plants and replace them with a non-toxic option. 

Pet Poison Helpline

If something were to happen to your furry friend, and you suspect that they are suffering from lobelia 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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