Is the Agave Plant Poisonous to Dogs?

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Agave plants have sharp edges.
Agave plants have sharp edges. (Image: agave image by Jan Ebling from Fotolia.com)

Agave plants thrive in harsh conditions; well drained soil, little water and full sun are optimal growing conditions. Seen in a variety of climates in both outdoor gardens and as indoor house plants, these plants pose problems for dog owners.

Identification

Agave plants rise from the roots in a cluster of fleshy leaves. The leaves can have spines and usually terminate in a sharp point. They are succulents ranging in color from pale green to dark green and sometimes variegated with white or yellow.

Warning

Agave plants are mildly toxic to dogs, according to the Midtown Animal Clinic of Davis, California. The effects manifest as vomiting and loose stools.

Considerations

Agave leaves are skin irritants, causing itching or burning on contact. Agave sap contains oxalate crystals, microscopic forms shaped like needles that can lead to mouth, skin and tongue irritation and swelling. This can result in trouble breathing, mild to moderate pain and stomach problems. Seek emergency veterinary care if your dog ingests Agave.

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