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Airway obstruction in a dog after Dieffenbachia ingestion


  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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Dr. Katherine Peterson, 1377 W. County Rd B, Roseville, MN 55113, USA. Email:


Objective – To describe a case of Dieffenbachia ingestion in a dog presented for dysphagia and airway obstruction successfully treated with a temporary tracheostomy and supportive care beyond that reported in the veterinary literature.

Case Summary – An 8-year-old male neutered Labrador Retriever, weighing 30 kg, was presented with the complaint of choking and gagging. Abdominal radiographs showed that he had a distended stomach full of foreign material and a gastrotomy was performed. After receiving preanesthetic medication, the dog developed inspiratory stridor and during anesthetic induction, marked oropharyngeal swelling complicated tracheal intubation. During surgery a large amount of dog bedding and Dieffenbachia plant material was removed. Because of the severity of the oropharyngeal swelling, the dog required a temporary tracheostomy and treatment for an acute allergic reaction related to the Dieffenbachia ingestion. The patient was discharged after 6 days in the hospital and had no significant complications.

New or Unique Information Provided – To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of successful treatment of an airway obstruction related to the toxicity of Dieffenbachia ingestion.