Dangerous Plants

Does your canine buddy like to go with you when you go camping or hiking? Dogs love going to different places with their humans. Fido also makes a great trail buddy! One thing you’ll need to be careful about is making sure your pooch doesn’t ingest anything unsafe. An Aurora, CO vet lists a few of Colorado’s most dangerous plants below.

Death Camas

Death Camas sports little white flowers, and looks a lot like a wild onion. Unfortunately, it can cause serious issues for Fido. The entire plant is poisonous, so steer your canine buddy away. Symptoms include weakness, respiratory issues, seizures, paralysis, and coma.

Western Water Hemlock

A distant relative of the carrot, this pretty but deadly perennial likes wet ground, and can often be found in marshes. They can grow up to six feet tall. Though the root is the most dangerous part, the entire plant should be considered unsafe.


Larkspurs are quite beautiful, and they often have very vivid colors. However, they are known for killing cows, and can be deadly if ingested. Ingestion can cause paralysis, tremors, muscle stiffness, and weakness, and can also be fatal. Unfortunately, there is no known cure. Although the entire plant is poisonous, seeds and new growth are the most dangerous.


As you may know, the word ‘loco’ means ‘crazy in Spanish. This plant is aptly named, as it causes erratic behavior. It contains a substance called swainsonine, which is an indolizidine alkaloid or phytotoxin. Symptoms usually develop slowly, but include appetite loss, nervousness, trembling, vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures. Continued ingestion can lead to fatal neurological damage.


Foxtail grasses aren’t poisonous: the issue here is the seeds, which have sharp awls on them. These can work their way beneath Fido’s skin. Because of the way the awls are shaped, they won’t come out naturally, but will just keep working themselves further in. This can cause severe and potentially fatal damage to dogs’ vital organs.


While it’s a good idea to learn how to recognize these and other toxic plants, it’s also important to follow some general precautions. Don’t let your pooch treat that pretty trail as a salad bar! Also, be on the lookout for symptoms. Always call your vet if you notice anything amiss. Early treatment can make all the difference.

As your Aurora, CO animal clinic, we’re here to help! Call us anytime!

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