Pot pourri is a mixture of dried plant materials (leaves, bark, flowers and spices) primarily used for scenting rooms and is readily accesible to pets. Ingestion of pot pourri can cause prolonged gastrointestinal effects. There have also been neurological or respiratory effects in a small number of cases.

It is uncommon to find toxic plants in pot pourri.  But the effects ingesting it can last 2-10 days, and persist even after plant material has been passed in the faeces. 

The commonly reported symptoms are vomiting, anorexia and abdominal pain. Other signs include depression, lethargy, ataxia, diarrhoea and dehydration. Less commonly, you may see hypersalivation, frothing at the mouth and bloody diarrhoea. 

Additionally, there is a risk of obstruction, although this is not common.  

Treatment is supportive with anti-emetics if there is persistent vomiting and fluid therapy (usually intravenous) to rehydrate the pet if required. Pain relief (analgesia) may be required for abdominal discomfort and gastro-protectants may be considered. 

If you are concerned about possible poisoning, then ring us urgently on 01376 325511.  You may be treated as an emergency depending on our advice.  

Between the hours of 8am - 10pm all emergency patients are seen at Braintree.  Between 10pm - 8am, our phones are automatically redirected to the VetsNow emergency service in Witham so please dial this same number.  

For further details of our emergency service, please click here.

For further general advice on poisoning please use the following links.
  • Pets and Poisons, Keeping your Animals Safe (BVA Animal Welfare Association) click here
  • Pet Poisons (Animal Welfare Foundation) click here
  • Hidden Hazards, Keeping your Pets Safe (PDSA) click here
  • The Dangers at Home (Cats Protection) click here
  • Poisonous Plants (Rabbit Welfare Association) click here