Are Cholla Cactus Poisonous to Dogs?

Are Cholla Cactus Poisonous to Dogs?

Last year, I was hiking in the mountains and my dearest puppy was with me. Unfortunately, it was stuck with cholla cactus spines. It started barking and kicking its legs on the earth due to extreme pain. I was totally puzzled about what to do? Asking myself: Is cholla poisonous to dogs?

The Cholla Cactus is not poisonous to humans or dogs but it can cause hurt and irritation when eaten by dogs and other animals. If any of the cholla barbs, spine, or thorn is swallowed by your dog, your concern should be about the spines because it may be left your dog with some health risks.

As a westerner who is not concerned about his/her dogs. We spend most of the time with this blessed animal. After returning from my hiking tour I thoroughly researched cholla cactus side effects on dogs. So many things are waiting in my scrapbook. Don’t miss it for the sake of your loving dog.

What Are the Side Effects of a Cholla Cactus on Pets?

The side effects of a cholla cactus on pets are not as severe as the plant itself. The plant usually does not cause any harm to dogs and cats, but it can cause some minor discomfort if not treated properly.

Though this cholla cactus can be used for medicinal purposes like anti-inflammation, this cactus can also be harmful to pets such as dogs and cats if it is ingested or gets into their eyes or nose.

The side effects of ingesting a cholla cactus are minor, but they do include:

  •  Muscle spasms. 
  •  An increased heart rate.
  • Vomiting.
  •  Diarrhea.
  • skin irritation.
  •  Skin rashes
  • Even lead to death. 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness and fatigue

Why is Cholla Cactus Toxic to Dogs?

The plant’s sap contains a toxin called oleandrin which can cause kidney failure and death in dogs. 

Dogs are more susceptible to the effects of oleandrin due to the fact that they have a higher metabolism than humans. They also have different gut flora than humans do which further increases their risk.

Do All Dogs Have Different Reactions When Eating Thorns?

Very funny! Some dogs have reactions and repulsion when they eat cholla spines, while others just lick the spines/barbs and are going to be ok.

So as an owner of a dog, your first job is to watch and observe your dog’s behavior pattern. Is it scary to cholla spines or not? 

What Happens If My Dog Steps on Cholla Spines?

  1. Bleeding would be the possible outcome from your dog’s skin.
  2. Jerking its mouth or kicking its legs on the ground.
  3. It may start to foaming.
  4. Shivering, Barking etc

Do Cholla Needles Dissolve into Dog Skin?

Cholla spines are not serious to dogs. These spines are more likely to get out from the skin. If it does not make any discomfort to your dog, then let it be healed on its own within a few days. 

What Happens If a Dog Eats Cholla Cactus?

Some tolerable diseases to dogs are shown here and there when our pets eat cholla cactus. The signs of cholla cacti pricked in dogs are:
1. Vomiting your dogs
2. Appetite loss
3. Abdominal pain
4. Salivation or foaming.
5. Diarrhea
6. Nausea
One more thing that can happen to your dog is gastrointestinal ailments because of the cholla cactus chemical composition. 

What Should You Do If Your Dog Is Poisoned by Cholla Cactus?

A Cholla cactus can cause a large amount of pain and discomfort for your dog. If you suspect your dog has been poisoned from contact with a Cholla cactus, then you should do the following:

1. Get your pet to the vet immediately.

2. Keep your pet calm and limit physical activity until they are feeling better.

3. Give them a limited amount of food. If possible let them dry fast. Because fasting will help your dog to heal very fast.

How to Recognize the Different Types of Cholla Cacti and What is Dangerous to the Dog’s Health?

There are at least 20 species of cholla cactus available in the North American Desert. Cholla cacti are a type of plant that is found in the Sonoran Desert and other arid regions. They have long, sharp spines that can cause injury to people and animals.

1) the straight-spined cholla.

2) the hooked-spined cholla and

3) the barrel-shaped cholla.

They have spines that can be dangerous to the health of your dog.

If you are not sure what type of cacti your dog is eating, there are some signs to look for:

 If it has a long, thin stem with leaves at the base, it is probably a cholla cactus.

 If you notice that your dog has been eating leaves and stems from the same plant, it might be a cholla cactus.

How Do You Remove Cholla Cactus from a Dog?

The one easiest method I usually use when my dog is stung by thorns. 

Metal comb: Slide down the teeth between dogs fur and the barbs of cholla cactus 

After that check out is there any quill left behind.

Another way, you can remove larger spikes from your dog’s skin is by using needle nose pliers

In porcupine quills and barbed cactus spines, the barbs act like little sharpened blades that concentrate the stress and cause the animal tissue to fracture more easily, Anderson said.

University of ILLINOIS

Final Thoughts

Your dogs are not being poisoned but being hurt by cholla cactus. Being hurt may lead to death also. So, don’t let your dog graze in the cacti garden carelessly; don’t let it eat raw cholla.

Disclaimer: My humble request to my readers is that don’t treat me as a doctor or veterinarian. I am a hobby blogger, not a professional or researcher on health and nutrition. So, before making any decisions about the health of your pets, you must consult with your doctor. My blog site is not/ will not take any responsibility for any harm, misfortune, or injury to your dogs; this may occur from engaging in any activities, ideas, information, and suggestions from this site.

Anwar Hossain

My name is Anwar Hossain. I am a cactus lover, researcher, and cactus blogger.

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