The ivy(?) bush in the garden has some black berries on it, are they safe for Guinea Pigs?

Ivy plant

  • 1
    For future reference, plant identification is something that's covered on the gardening site very well. It's generally going to be easier to ask for an id there first, and then ask about it's relation to pets here. It's also important to share the location/region of the plant.
    – Spidercat
    Dec 31 '14 at 15:07
  • Point taken, region is UK.
    – Windfire
    Jan 1 '15 at 6:09

It looks to me like you have English Ivy (Hedera helix L.).

English Ivy Berries

From the National Park Service:

The leaves and berries of English ivy contain the glycoside hederin which may cause toxicosis if ingested. Symptoms include gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea, hyperactivity, breathing difficulty, coma, fever, polydipsia, dilated pupils, muscular weakness, and lack of coordination. This feature also helps ensure effective seed dispersal by birds.

Based on that description I think it's safe to assume that the plant is bad to feed to a guinea pig. I looked for a reference to it on a list of foods that are dangerous to guinea pigs and found it on a blog called Happy Cavy and on the petco website.


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