Why is rhubarb toxic?

Posted By: Anonymous

Why is rhubarb toxic? - 06/15/06 06:27 PM

I can't figure out why rhubarb is toxic for sugar gliders. Does anyone else know?

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Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Why is rhubarb toxic? - 06/15/06 06:35 PM

Actually, I believe the leaves are toxic to humans (ingested). All parts of the plant have oxalates, just more in the leaves, and low levels in the stems. Oxalate containing plants have microscopic crystals in the juice and sap. I believe that it isn't digested and excreted in the urine, but other problems (at least in humans) include: gastroenteritis, hypotension, hypocalcemia, muscle weakness and twitching, nephrosis, and hyperoxaluria (no, I didn't memorize this, I went to some medical journal)
Either way, doesn't sound all too pleasant for a glider.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Why is rhubarb toxic? - 06/15/06 06:51 PM

Thank you for the info! No it does NOT sound too good for gliders or humans either!!!
Posted By: Xfilefan

Re: Why is rhubarb toxic? - 06/16/06 07:30 AM

I can't answer this one directly...but when I was little, and growing up with my grandmother (a LONG time ago!)...she grew rhubarb...and was VERY emphatic that my cousin and I not touch it (small kids putting things in their mouths and all, lol)....she said it would make us very sick if we ate it from the garden...but was okay if it was cooked (likely talking about the stalks-most people don't eat the leaves...I don't think). So if we really wanted some, tell her and she'd cook some for us (I don't remember ever having any, though) Anyway, if it has the potential to harm, I would avoid it. After all...there's so many other yummy things we can give to our glider babies instead!
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