Common Toxic Plants for your Pooch

I love indoor plants and a nice garden, however since having dogs I have come to realise that not all plants are created equally and some can be very toxic to pets. So, I have compiled a list of some of the most common plants found in Australia that are toxic to your pooch.

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and you should always check before purchasing new plants for your home. If you think your dog has ingested any part of a poisonous plant, don’t wait. Contact your veterinarian immediately for advice.

1. Brunfelsia pauciflora (yesterday, today and tomorrow) – This plant causes severe toxicity and for some reason dogs love to eat it. All parts of the plant, including the roots are poisonous, but the berries contain the highest concentration of toxins and are the most tempting to dogs. Symptoms can include excess salivation, vomiting, diarrhoea and nervous system disturbances such as tremor, hallucinations, delirium and seizures.  Death has also been reported.


 2. Azalea – Azaleas are also very toxic to dogs. These plants contain cardiovascular toxins which can weaken the heartbeat of your dog leading to coma or even death. Even a tiny amount (0.2%) of a pet’s body weight can cause poisoning. Azaleas are so poisonous that the ingestion of just a couple of leaves can leave your dog with severe oral irritation, vomiting and diarrhoea.


 3. Peace Lilies (Mauna Loa) – Peace lilies are not technically poisonous but they do contain a compound that can be extremely bothersome to pets. The pollen from the spadix can cause oral irritation(inflammation of the mouth, muzzle and throat) if licked off fur and paws. Peace Lily toxicity can however, manifest in several other symptoms such as diarrhoea, vomiting and excessive drooling. In severe cases your dog may have trouble breathing due to an inflamed air way.

4. Rubber Tree Plants (Ficus Elastica) – Rubber tree plants contain irritating sap that following ingestion can cause irritation of the mouth and gastrointestinal tract. Other common signs to watch out for are decreased appetite, drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, and skin irritation. 


5. Autumn Crocus – The autumn crocus, although beautiful is one of the most toxic plants for dogs. It contains Colchicine and other alkaloid which can cause intense burning sensation in the mouth, gastrointestinal bleeding, liver and kidney damage, seizures and respiratory failure.


 6. Sago Palms (Cycads) – Sago palms are commonly found in tropical and ornamental gardens and are highly toxic to dogs. All parts of the plant are toxic and consumption of a sago palm can be fatal. The seeds are particularly toxic and ingestion of even small quantities can result in severe poisoning or even death. Signs of poisoning include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, drowsiness, weakness, coma, seizures and liver failure.

7. Daffodils - Daffodils are thought to be toxic to dogs and like other toxic plants, when ingested the Daffodil can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, convulsions, and a potentially fatal drop in blood pressure. Almost all plants that arise from bulbs or corms have the potential to be poisonous if ingested by your pet. The most dangerous part of these plants are the underground bulbs and if ingested the signs of poisoning would be more severe than if they were to chew on the leaves, stems or flowers. 


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