Is Agave Americana Poisonous to Dogs?

by Axl J. Amistaadt
    Your pooch is no match for this saber-swinging scurvy plant.

    Your pooch is no match for this saber-swinging scurvy plant.

    Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

    Native to Mexico and Central America, the century plant (Agave americana) is a striking specimen favored for Southwest and Mediterranean style landscapes in the warmest regions of the continental United States. Attaining substantial size, this imposing plant should be off limits to your dog. The sap may sicken him, and the foliage is certain to best him in a sword fight.

    Heave Ho

    Eating parts of Agave americana probably won't kill your dog, but he’s likely to become mighty miserable. The toxicity level of this plant is considered to be on the low side. Ingestion can cause minor symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting. The plant’s sap contains oxalates, which will irritate the pooch’s tongue, mouth and esophagus. His throat may swell, resulting in labored breathing, stomach upset and painful burning sensations. The sap is also well known for the uncomfortable skin rash or irritation it can inflict. Consult your veterinarian if your dog has ingested this plant.

    Shiver Me Timbers

    Not only is the century plant toxic if eaten by your best buddy, just getting too close to it can inflict severe injury. This desert dwelling swashbuckler is well armed -- a dangerous, saber-like thorn protrudes from each leaf tip, and needle-sharp daggers edge the leaf margins. If you absolutely can’t live without this plant on your property, locate it well away from high-traffic areas and places your dog frequents. Failing all else, consider trimming the spines off this buccaneer.

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    About the Author

    A full-time writer since 2007, Axl J. Amistaadt is a DMS 2013 Outstanding Contributor Award recipient. He publishes online articles with major focus on pets, wildlife, gardening and fitness. He also covers parenting, juvenile science experiments, cooking and alternative/home remedies. Amistaadt has written book reviews for Work At Home Truth.

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