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Are cats allergic to Greater Ammi or is it toxic to them?

Byzantine art style illustration of a Greater Ammi plant with intricate patterns and a mosaic-like background

Greater Ammi, also known as bishop’s weed, false Queen Anne’s lace, or Ammi majus, is a flowering plant that can be toxic to cats if ingested. This plant contains furocoumarin, a compound that is especially concentrated in the seeds and can cause photosensitization in animals.

Greater Ammi is commonly found in Southern Europe, North Africa, and parts of Asia, but has been introduced to other regions as an ornamental plant or through wildflower seed mixes.

Toxicity level

Moderate

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Symptoms your cat may have

If a cat ingests any part of the Greater Ammi plant, especially the seeds, they may experience various symptoms due to the toxic furocoumarin compound. Common signs of Greater Ammi poisoning in cats include:

  • Photosensitization (increased sensitivity to light)
  • Dermatitis or skin inflammation
  • Sunburn on light-colored or thin-haired areas
  • Increased body temperature
  • Photophobia (shying away from light)
  • Edema (swelling) of the muzzle, ears, udder, scrotum, and vulva
  • Painful and thickened skin with crusted hair (in dark-colored cats)

Potential diagnosis your Vet may give

If you suspect your cat has ingested Greater Ammi, it is crucial to seek veterinary care promptly. Your veterinarian will likely follow these steps to diagnose and treat your cat:

  1. Perform a thorough physical examination to assess the severity of symptoms.
  2. Take a detailed history of your cat’s exposure to the plant and the onset of symptoms.
  3. Conduct blood tests and other diagnostic procedures to evaluate organ function and rule out other potential causes.
  4. Provide supportive care, such as intravenous fluids, pain management, and wound care for affected skin areas.
  5. Recommend keeping your cat in a shaded area and providing plenty of fresh water and food to prevent further photosensitization.

For more information on how your veterinarian may diagnose and treat plant poisoning in cats, visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

An illustrative banner depicting an anthropomorphic cat in a vet's office, alongside a call-to-action message that reads: 'If you suspect your pet may have ingested a potentially toxic substance,' accompanied by a prominent button stating 'Find A Vet Near Me!
An illustrative banner depicting an anthropomorphic cat in a vet's office, alongside a call-to-action message that reads: 'If you suspect your pet may have ingested a potentially toxic substance,' accompanied by a prominent button stating 'Find A Vet Near Me!

FAQ

Q: Is Greater Ammi toxic to cats?

A: Yes, Greater Ammi is toxic to cats. Ingesting this plant can cause symptoms such as vomiting, drooling, and skin irritation.

Q: What are the symptoms of Greater Ammi poisoning in cats?

A: Symptoms of Greater Ammi poisoning in cats include vomiting, excessive drooling, and skin irritation. Cats may also experience lethargy and loss of appetite.

Q: How can I treat Greater Ammi poisoning in cats?

A: If your cat has ingested Greater Ammi, seek immediate veterinary care. Treatment typically involves supportive care to manage symptoms and prevent further complications.

Q: Are there other plants similar to Greater Ammi that are toxic to cats?

A: Yes, other plants like Cow Parsnip and Queen Anne’s Lace are also toxic to cats. It’s important to keep these and other harmful plants out of reach of your pets.

Q: How can I prevent my cat from eating Greater Ammi?

A: To prevent your cat from eating Greater Ammi, ensure the plant is placed in an area inaccessible to your cat or choose pet-safe plants. Providing alternative chew toys and engaging activities can help deter your cat from chewing on toxic plants.

Q: What should I do if my cat shows signs of poisoning after eating Greater Ammi?

A: If your cat shows signs of poisoning after eating Greater Ammi, contact your veterinarian immediately. Prompt treatment is essential to alleviate symptoms and prevent serious health issues.

History of the Greater Ammi

Greater Ammi is a member of the Apiaceae family, which includes carrots, parsley, and celery. The plant is native to the Nile River Valley but has since spread to various regions around the world. It has been used in traditional medicine for centuries, particularly in Egypt and parts of Asia.

In some areas, Greater Ammi has been introduced as an ornamental plant due to its attractive, lace-like flower clusters. It has also been unintentionally spread through wildflower seed mixes, leading to its presence in pastures and along roadsides in some regions.

Further reading and sources

Please note: The information shared in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as veterinary medical advice.

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