BaxterBoo Blog
September 29, 2011

Wednesday Wellness: Plants that are Toxic To Your Dog

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There are few topics more sensitive to a pet owner than protecting our beloved pets form potential hazards. For this reason, We couldn’t fit all pet toxin sources into just one Wednesday Wellness post.  As a supplement to last week’s household toxins post, the name of the game this week is outdoor toxins.

With most dogs, energy levels and curiosity are increased in outdoor activities such as nature walks or camping. Despite outdoor poisoning being less common than indoors, our ability to control what our pets can access in the environment is greatly decreased.

Many owners are not fully aware of the potential plant life and environmental toxins that are hazardous to their pet’s health. Here is a list of some plants that could be harmful and not in your dog’s best interest to come across during her outdoor adventuring.

Garden Plants

Atropa belladonna

Symptoms: Diarrhea, vomiting, appetite loss, swelling in mouth, and abdominal pain


Symptoms: Irritation of Mouth, uncontrollable drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and death

Christmas rose

Symptoms:  Abdominal pain, drooling, colic, and depression


Symptoms: Cardiac arrhythmia, convulsions, diarrhea, salivating, vomiting

Nicotiana (Tree Tobacco)

Symptoms: Depression, vomiting, paralysis, hyperactivity, and death in large quantities


Symptoms: Kidney failure, salivating, and tremors

Wild Flowers and Herbs


Symptoms: Diarrhea, tremors, stomach pain, dilated pupils, fever, bloat, and death

Location: Meadows and stream banks in Europe, Asia, and Northwestern North America

Delphinium (Larkspur)

Symptoms: Colic, constipation, muscle tremors, stiffness, and cardiac failure depending on maturity of the plan

Location: Grows in corn fields generally throughout the Northern Hemisphere.

Fox Glove

Symptoms: Weakness, heart complications, vomiting, diarrhea, and death

Location: Mostly throughout Europe


Symptoms:Vomiting, diarrhea, salivating, and lethargy   

Location: Varied climates throughout Europe, Africa, Asia, and North America


Symptoms: Oral irritation and burning, salivating, difficulty swallowing, and drooling

Location: Moist woodlands throughout eastern North America

Lily of the valley

Symptoms:Irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, vomiting, seizures, and coma

Location: Cool woodlands of Europe and Asia


Symptoms: skin ulcers, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and coma in rare cases.

Location: Woodland area of eastern North America


Symptoms: gastrointestinal problems, diarrhea, drowsiness, depression, weakness, change in disposition, and salivating

Location: vary in location globally

Trees and Shrubs

Black locust

Symptoms:Vomiting, appetite loss, and some neurological effects causing coordination problems

Location: Southeastern United States


Symptoms:Diarrhea, vomiting, depression, coma, and dilated pupils

Location: Midwest and Lower Great Plains of the United States


Symptoms: salivating, depression, seizures, fatigue, diarrhea and vomiting

Location: India, Indochina, Southeast Asia, and Australia

Common privet

Symptoms: decrease in coordination, gastrointestinal problems, increased heart rate, and possible death

Location: Semi-evergreen shrub in Europe, North Africa, and Southwestern Asia


Symptoms: Cardiac, Gastrointestinal, and neurological problems

Location: Evergreen, semi-evergreen, and deciduous forests around the world

Death camas

Symptoms: Weakness, salivating, respiratory problems, nausea, convulsion, death, and coma

Location: Dry hillsides and sagebrush slopes of western North America

European bittersweet

Symptoms: Diarrhea, Vomiting, Drowsiness, and low heart rate

Location: Native to Europe and Asia but is also prevalent in woodland and marsh areas of North America


Symptoms: diarrhea, vomiting and depression

Location: Evergreen and deciduous climates world wide


Symptoms:Can be fatal for pets

Location: Grows in warm and moderate climates throughout the world


Symptoms: depression, cardiovascular collapse, weakness, vomiting diarrhea, coma, and death

Location: Found in rocky slopes and mountainous forests especially in the Eastern United States

Manchineel tree

Symptoms: Fruit it bears can be deadly for pets

Location: Near or on coastal beaches


Symptoms: Seeds in the fruit can be fatal for pets

Location: Eastern North America


Symptoms: Possible kidney failure

Location: Throughout the Northern Hemisphere


Symptoms: Depression, cardiovascular problems, coma, hypotension, loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, and death

Location: Tropical species and Alpine species in eastern North America

Yew tree

Symptoms: Acute cardiac failure, muscle tremors, seizure, death

Location: A Conifer found in Europe, northwest Africa, and southwest Asia

In almost all cases, vomiting and diarrhea are the earliest symptom. Don’t panic if you witness these symptoms but be alert and respond pro-actively, especially if you think your pet may have been exposed to any of these plants.

Making your dog’s trail safe in the outdoors is important. The best thing you can do as a dog owner is to always know your pup’s whereabouts and intervene if they are checking out something that doesn’t look familiar to you.

Photo Courtesy of:




Duncan Brown (Cradlehall)

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