1. If your pet has had skin contact with poinsettia sap, perform Dermal Decontamination by bathing your pet with some soap and water to ensure that any remaining sap has been washed off. This will reduce the irritation that will be caused by any sap left on its body.
  2. Signs of poinsettia ingestion poisoning in animals are usually mild and self-limiting.
  3. In rare cases, persistent vomiting may lead to dehydration or electrolyte imbalances that may need to be treated. If your pet has any underlying diseases, is already sick, or is vomiting repeatedly, seek veterinary attention as soon as possible for further treatment, supportive care and monitoring.




Clinical signs occurwithin minutes to hours of ingestion or skin contact.

Skin exposure/contact:

  • Skin irritation
  • Redness
  • Itchy skin
  • Scratching
  • Conjunctivitis (if the eye has been in contact with the sap)

Oral ingestion:

  • Irritation of mucous membranes
  • Hypersalivation
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea (rarely)


The milky sap of poinsettia plants has irritant. The irritation from this milky sap is thought to occur due to the detergent-like effects that these substances have on tissues. Clinical signs may be seen after oral ingestion or dermal (skin) exposure to the sap.


Gwaltney-Brant SM (2013) Christmastime plants. In: Small Animal Toxicology. 3rdedition. Peterson ME & Talcott PA (eds.). USA: Elsevier Saunders.