Gopher Purge Plant: Is It Toxic to Dogs?

by Carlye Jones
    Gopher purge can make your dog sick.

    Gopher purge can make your dog sick.

    Janie Airey/Lifesize/Getty Images

    Gopher purge also is known as gopher spurge, mole plant and more formally as Euphorbia lathyris. It takes its name from the fact that it is often planted to repel or control gopher and mole populations. The substances in the plant that affect gophers and moles also affect dogs.

    Unsafe for Gophers or Dogs

    Gopher purge is toxic to humans and pets, including dogs. It contains a thick, milky substance that irritates anything it comes into contact with. In dogs, gopher purge can cause bloody diarrhea, loss of appetite, rapid heart rate and dilated pupils. Since it is an irritant, it also can cause a burning sensation on your dog's lips, mouth, tongue and nose. In large amounts, gopher purge can be deadly. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your dog has been chewing on or eating gopher purge. If the plant is growing in areas where your dog regularly spends time, take steps to eradicate it.

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    About the Author

    Carlye Jones is a journalist, writer, photographer, novelist and artisan jeweler with more than 20 years of experience. She enjoys sharing her expertise on home improvements, photography, crafting, business and travel. Her work has appeared both in print and on numerous websites.