Friday, March 30, 2018

Plants can kill dogs

By Ginger Baer

As the warmer weather is arriving many of our native plants will be popping up.  Living in the mountains and hiking amongst these beauties is a favorite pastime for many.  Taking along our dogs is also not all that unusual.  But please beware, there is danger out there for our furry friends. 

I have heard many people say that our dogs will not eat something if it is not good for them.  This is just not true. I have seen many cases of dogs becoming ill after eating something that they should not. It can be heartbreaking to see our pets suffering, not to mention watching the angst in their owners.

I am writing this article in an effort to help pet owners and hikers in our beautiful Rocky Mountains become more aware of what they need to look for.  This list is not all inclusive, but is gives you a slight idea of what to watch out for.

For further information I would refer you to:  ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number: (888) 426-4435 or their website:

Baneberry: Actea Rubra
A bushy plant with large, highly divided leaves and a short, thick, rounded cluster of small white flowers in leaf axils or at stem ends. The fruit is an attractive, but poisonous, red berry.

Clinical Signs if eaten by a dog:  Vomiting, diarrhea, depression, seizures.

Buttercup: Ranunculus spp 
Additional Common Names: Butter Cress, Figwort

Clinical Signs if eaten by a dog: Vomiting, diarrhea, depression, anorexia, hypersalivation, oral ulcers and wobbly gait.

Monkshood: Aconitum columbianum
Aconitum, commonly known as aconite, monkshood, wolf's bane, leopard's bane, mousebane, women's bane, devil's helmet, queen of poisons, or blue rocket, is a genus of over 250 species of flowering plants belonging to the family Ranunculaceae.

Clinical signs if eaten by a dog: Weakness. Heart arrhythmias, Paralysis, Tremors, Seizures

Milkweed: Asclepias speciosa
Asclepias species. Some species contain cardiotoxins (steroidal glycosidic cardenolides) and other species contain neurotoxins. Maybe good for our butterflies, but not so much for our dogs.

Clinical Signs if eaten by a dog: Vomiting, profound depression, weakness, anorexia, and diarrhea are common; may be followed by seizures, difficulty breathing, rapid, weak pulse, dilated pupils, kidney or liver failure, coma, respiratory paralysis and death

Poison hemlock: Conium maculatum
Hemlock or poison hemlock, is a highly poisonous biennial herbaceous flowering plant in the carrot family Apiaceae, native to Europe and North Africa; it is a noxious weed in Colorado.

Clinical Signs if eaten by a dog: Diarrhea, seizures, tremors, extreme stomach pain, dilated pupils, fever, bloat, respiratory depression, and death

Water Hemlock: Cicuta maculate
Cicuta maculata is a species of flowering plant in the carrot family, Apiaceae, known by several common names, including spotted water hemlock, spotted parsley, spotted cowbane, and the suicide root by the Iroquois.

Clinical Signs if eaten by a dog: Diarrhea, seizures, tremors, extreme stomach pain, dilated pupils, fever, bloat, respiratory depression, and death.

Yarrow: Achillea millefolium

Additional Common Names: Milfoil
Clinical Signs if eaten by a dog: Increased urination, vomiting, diarrhea, dermatitis.

Please know before you go and watch out for your faithful companions.

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