Pets, plants and poison


Protect your pets and eliminate these poisonous plants from your garden.

Dog covered in dirt with broken flower pot

Pet owners around Australia are being warned to check their garden for plants that maybe toxic to their four-legged friends.

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) said it was imperative pet owners were aware of the dangers certain plants can have on their pets before they disturb existing plants or introduce new ones to their garden.

AVA President Dr Paula Parker warned pet owners against planting cycads in their garden.

“Cycads and sago palms have become quite popular as they’re hardy and suitable for less experienced gardeners,” she said.

“However, they are extremely toxic to animals and can wreak havoc on their livers.”

Dr Parker said the toxins in cycads were quick and deadly and included the seeds, roots and leaves.

“Recently, I saw three dogs from the same family poisoned by cycad plants,” she said.

“They had moved to a new property and were removing plants from the backyard.

“In the process, the cycad plants were disturbed and the dogs started playing with the roots.

“Their owners brought them into the veterinary clinic later that afternoon when they started to vomit – even after just a few hours, we could detect signs of liver damage.

“Cycad toxicity is highly fatal.

“Thankfully, with intensive treatment, two of the dogs pulled through.

“Unfortunately, the most mischievous of their clan didn’t make it – despite our efforts, over the next 12 hours his liver went into failure.”

Pet owners should ensure all parts of cycad plants are removed from their garden and the area is cleaned.

Owners who suspect their pet may have ingested cycad or any other toxic plants are advised to seek care from a veterinarian immediately.

Other plants that are known to be toxic to animals:

  • Holly
  • Mistletoe
  • Lilies
  • Tulips
  • Oleander
  • Amaryllis
  • Kalanchoe
  • Yew
  • English Ivy

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Things to note

The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice, not intended as legal advice or professional advice and does not take into account any person’s particular circumstances. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives and needs.