By Richard Cross
Many plants are toxic to our canine friends – including some of the most popular flowers, bushes and trees. There’s probably no need to ban your pet from spending time outdoors though. Most plants aren’t likely to cause more than mild irritation or an upset stomach, and that’s only if they are ingested. Dogs also tend to avoid eating poisonous plants. With that said, there are some garden plants that pose a more serious risk.
A dog who eats these plants can suffer from severe illness and even death, so it’s important to remove these from your
garden. Here are ten of the most dangerous culprits.
Note: If you suspect your dog has eaten a toxic plant, you should contact your vet immediately. Fast treatment could be essential for your dog’s survival.
Azaleas are one of the most dangerous plants for dogs, as they can cause serious illness and are found in many gardens. The entire Azalea plant is toxic. Small quantities can cause nausea and vomiting, while larger doses
may lead to a coma and potentially death.
- Autumn Crocus
The Autumn Crocus has beautiful flowers, but the entire plant can cause serious health problems if eaten by a dog. Symptoms include throat irritation, diarrhea and vomiting. In the worst cases, ingesting Autumn Crocus can cause seizures and organ damage. It’s worth noting that this is the autumn species of the crocus. While the spring-flowering crocus is also toxic, the symptoms are usually less severe.
The Amaryllis plant can cause low blood pressure, vomiting and abdominal pain. This pain may cause
a change in behavior, such as difficulty laying down or a loss of appetite. While the entire plant is toxic, the dangerous chemicals are most concentrated in bulbs. Despite often being considered less toxic than similar plants, such as the lily, the bulbs of Amaryllis can be fatal if untreated. This is because the toxin can cause a coma and clinical shock.
Oleander is one of the most dangerous garden plants, as it contains a toxin that affects the heart. It can cause death due to heart failure if eaten in large enough quantities.
Even when eaten in small amounts, Oleander can cause diarrhea, sweating, shaking, respiratory problems and dermatitis.
- Castor Bean
The Castor Bean plant is a popular choice for gardens in warmer climates. Many gardeners, however, don’t realize the seeds contain significant amounts of ricin. As you might imagine, this makes them highly toxic to dogs. Even ingesting one seed can be potentially fatal, so Castor Bean is definitely a plant that all dog owners should avoid.
Foxglove is a wonderful plant with a unique appearance. Unfortunately, it’s extremely toxic to both humans and dogs. Symptoms of a dog eating Foxglove include heart arrythmias, vomiting, seizures and convulsions. Even a small amount of Foxglove can cause death, so you should seek veterinary treatment immediately.
- Lily of the Valley
Lily of the Valley contains a type of poison called cardiac glycoside. When ingested, this can cause severe symptoms, including heart arrythmias, seizures and death. The speed at which Lily of the Valley can spread across a garden makes it particularly dangerous. If you have it in your garden, it may take some time to get under control.
Daffodils are highly toxic to dogs. While you should see a vet if your pet eats any part of a Daffodil, the bulbs are particularly dangerous. Symptoms of eating Daffodils include diarrhea, vomiting, a drop in blood pressure and possible heart failure.
Also known as Running Myrtle, the Periwinkle plant is toxic to all animals. Symptoms include vomiting, reduced blood pressure, depression and lethargy. If consumed in large enough quantities, it can also cause seizures, coma and death. Like Lily of the Valley, Periwinkle can quickly cover large areas of ground. For this reason, make sure
you remove it before it spreads.
Tulips are another garden favorite that can cause severe medical problems if eaten by a dog. Symptoms include mouth and throat irritation, nausea and drooling. Like daffodils, the bulb is the most toxic part of the Tulip plant. Tulips can also cause skin reactions in some dogs.
A Word About House Plants
There are many house plants that are also toxic. Your dog probably spends more time in close proximity to these plants, so it’s even more important to be aware of potential dangers. Some of the most common poisonous indoor plants include Dumb Cane (dieffenbachia), Ivy, Aloe Vera, Kalanchoe and Jade.
While many plants have a low level of toxicity, some are particularly dangerous for dogs. The ten plants in this article can all cause serious health complications and even death. It’s best to
remove these from your garden to protect your dog, and contact a vet immediately if you think your pet may have ingested a toxic plant.