There are countless plants that are toxic to dogs, but we hadn’t realized just how deadly heliotrope is to dogs until we read this Facebook post from Alicia Harrison after her dog died. She shared her distressing story as a precaution for other pet lovers so they are aware of this popular plant.
“FB friends, we got the biopsy report back and with great sorrow I must share this….Our darling girl died from the toxin in this plant that I have on my deck. It is called heliotrope and is highly toxic, causes total liver destruction. The pathologist said our angel had the worst liver damage he’s ever seen.
“Goldie would nibble at the leaves of this plant every so often and we had no clue it was toxic. (It can come in white or purple.) Please share with any dog owners you know to hopefully prevent their dog from becoming a statistic like Goldie. We are even more heartbroken now knowing her death was preventable. Please share her story so that something positive may come of it and create awareness of toxic plants. Our own vet had no idea this was a toxic plant!!”
As Alicia says, the plant has purple or white flowers and sometimes blue/purple. It’s a popular garden plant and has a distinctive fruity vanilla scent.
There are numerous garden plants that can potentially be toxic for dogs, from Azaleas to daffodils to sago palms. If you have a puppy or dog who is prone to nibble on plants, please check your garden and house plants for ones that could be harmful and take precautions. The ASPCA has an excellent resource list of toxic plants to refer to.