Is Solanum Nigrum Poisonous to Dogs?

by Naomi Millburn
    Diarrhea is a common symptom of black nightshade poisoning.

    Diarrhea is a common symptom of black nightshade poisoning.

    Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

    Knowing the toxicity of plants can be invaluable for all devoted pet owners. Not only do dogs spend a lot of time outdoors surrounded by plants, many of them are curious and like to put their mouths on random things. Always keep your eye on your pooch when he's around unfamiliar plants. Black nightshade (Solanum nigrum), for one, isn't safe for canines.

    Black nightshade is toxic to dogs, according to the ASPCA. The family Solanaceae plant is not only a serious danger to dogs, but also to other animals such as cats and horses. The hazardous components of black nightshade include both the saponins and the solanine. Never allow your dog to eat any part of a black nightshade plant. Don't allow the investigative furry creature anywhere near black nightshade, for that matter.

    If you happen to catch your pet consuming any part of black nightshade, seek emergency veterinary support for him immediately. If your pooch is experiencing black nightshade poisoning, you might see clear indications of it, including disorientation, loss of appetite, sluggish heart rate, feebleness, excessive salivation, extreme lethargy, widening of his pupils, stomachache and digestive issues such as loose, runny stools. You might even notice conspicuous shifts in his typical behavior. The quicker you seek veterinary assistance for your pet, the better. Do not dillydally. Some animals die due to poisoning from black nightshade.

    Be careful around family Solanaceae plants in general, as they all consist of solanine, which is a glycoalkaloid toxin. Plants in this family are frequently seen as ornamental plants and many of them are used in food preparations as well. If your dog munches on any plants from this family, he could experience poisoning. Apart from black nightshade, other Solanaceae perils are horse nettle (Solanum carolinense), Jerusalem cherry (Solanum pseudocapsicum) and buffalo bur (Solanum rostratum), just to start. Potato plants (Solanum tuberosum) are also part of the family. The green components of potatoes are poisonous to dogs.

    If you ever take your dog for a visit to a friend's home, ask about the plants in her backyard before you allow your pet to roam around freely in it. Find out their names. Black nightshade is also commonly known as European black nightshade, petty morel and garden nightshade. Some people might refer to black nightshade simply as nightshade, too. If you have any questions about specific plants and their effects on animals, discuss them with your veterinarian.

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    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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