Hellebore theory

I've been sort of methodically going through some of the possibilities that may have led to Zelda's death. It's been a way of coming to terms with it for me. I like answers, you know?

So I've looked at things like commercial pesticides used in hotels (we had stayed at a hotel with her the night before) and various medications that we humans take that could have possibly fallen somewhere where she could have gotten a pill. It hasn't been fruitful.

Then I turned to plants. She had been nosing around in a flower bed that day. In that flower bed, I learned, were some hellebore plants. This is the first thing on my list that is not just possible but actually might be considered probable. The timeline fits (onset between 30 minutes and four hours). The amount needed to kill a dog is very small. It causes cardiac death. (Actually it has SEVERAL mechanisms, but cardiac mechanism is one of them.)

We are going to talk to the vet that did the necropsy about this possibility. I feel like we might never know if that was "it", but since she was IN that flower bed and the symptoms and timeline fit exactly, the theory is strong enough to actually consider it probable.

Hellebore is a nasty little plant, I've since learned. Pretty flowers, nasty history. It's also called Christmas rose and Lenten rose.

Keep an eye on your little goofballs.

My grandmother had a cat that dropped dead unexpectedly. It was very upsetting and like you she also wanted to know why. Based on what we were able to find out, most likely her cat died of Oleander poisoning.

My husband works the California Animal Health and Food Safety lab in their toxicology department. They test for various environmental toxins. He always has his eye out for toxins since they get so many cases of accidental poisonings in companion animals.

@listeme:

I've been sort of methodically going through some of the possibilities that may have led to Zelda's death. It's been a way of coming to terms with it for me. I like answers, you know?

So I've looked at things like commercial pesticides used in hotels (we had stayed at a hotel with her the night before) and various medications that we humans take that could have possibly fallen somewhere where she could have gotten a pill. It hasn't been fruitful.

Then I turned to plants. She had been nosing around in a flower bed that day. In that flower bed, I learned, were some hellebore plants. This is the first thing on my list that is not just possible but actually might be considered probable. The timeline fits (onset between 30 minutes and four hours). The amount needed to kill a dog is very small. It causes cardiac death. (Actually it has SEVERAL mechanisms, but cardiac mechanism is one of them.)

We are going to talk to the vet that did the necropsy about this possibility. I feel like we might never know if that was "it", but since she was IN that flower bed and the symptoms and timeline fit exactly, the theory is strong enough to actually consider it probable.

Hellebore is a nasty little plant, I've since learned. Pretty flowers, nasty history. It's also called Christmas rose and Lenten rose.

Keep an eye on your little goofballs.

I'm the same way and I would be doing the same back tracking. When you dearly love your little one like you did you are not just going to let it go so easy. That plant could be a very possibility especially if it doesn't take much. Please keep us updated on your findings. Some years ago I was cutting back some Oleanders and one of my Bs accidentally while grabbing some grass just got a little in her mouth and wow was she foaming and trying to spit it out immediately. I got the hose and rinsed her mouth out. Luckily it was so little and bad tasting nothing went down and she was totally fine.

We have the Christmas Hellebore variety at the front of our house. Once it finishes flowering, I cut it right back to the ground, but the leafs come right back again. I thought I had gotten rid of all plants that would be a problem at this newer house. Not so. Now I see I will be digging that plant out this weekend. Thanks for the valuable information.

I do hope you find the answer you are looking for. The information could save someone elses Pet.

I understand wanting to understand what happened, I would need that for closure. Thank you for this information, I have never heard of that plant but will look it up. We have lots of oleander down here and I am watchful of it when the dogs are sniffing about.

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