What is agave?
It is a green plant that grows in the hotter parts of America.
It has xerophytic properties because it is mainly found in hot areas.
This can be visibly seen by its extremely succulent leaves that stores their liquids which keep them hydrated despite the high temperatures, that is what we will refer to as the nectar.
Agave can be mildly toxic to the dog and its owner if consumed. It has toxic substances that may cause more harm than good in their bodies. Agave is not fatal to dogs; it is considered to be of low severity to dogs but can be harmful nonetheless. This means that the dog owner should get other succulents that are not poisonous and a healthier option for their dogs.
Ingestion of agave most times, despite being toxic, usually does not essentially kill but can end up bringing a lot of discomfort and pain in your dog’s body.
This means that is not advisable to be ingested, either its leaves or even its sap or nectar, by your dog.
How to know if your dog has poisoning?
What if you had not come across this article before you fed some little agave to your dog?
In very few cases, the agave may not affect your dog.
In the other majority of cases, your dog may get negative effects from the agave and this may manifest itself as poisoning.
Here are some of the signs and symptoms to look out for in your dog especially after eating agave to confirm whether they got poisoning from ingesting the agave:
- Your dog may also get blisters and swellings.
- If your dog ingests the plant, it may experience high levels of discomfort.
- Your dog may also experience burning sensations, irritations, and redness around the mouth area.
- The leaves and nectar of the agave may cause dermatitis in dogs.
- Your dog may experience violent diarrhea and vomiting.
Note: Agave has very sharp oxalate crystals.
If agave is ingested, these crystals are most likely to irritate building up in your dog.
They may also be the reason for the swelling that happens in the throat, the stomach upsets, and the breathing difficulties that happen in your dog.
What to do in case your dog has poisoning from agave?
The first thing to do when your dog has eaten agave or you suspect they have is to always call the vet.
Do not try to induce vomiting. Call your vet.
They will know what to do or even better yet, take your dog to the vet if possible.
If all that is not possible, or the vet is not reachable, you could call the helpline that deals with pets which may offer some help on what to do immediately.
As a dog owner, it would be good to know more about the toxic substances you cannot keep around your dogs to prevent future cases of poisoning.
What should you do after such an incidence with agave occurs?
When such an instance with agave happens, it means that one has to review the measures that have been input to make your compound safe for your dog.
Many measures can be generally made to prevent such cases of dogs ingesting poisonous substances or plants that may be in your compound even without your knowledge.
Here are some of the other preventive measures that could be taken to prevent such cases from happening again:
1. The surroundings should be dog-friendly
In this case of agave, there should be other types of healthy succulents that can be grown around the home other than agave.
If poisoning occurs, it should be used as a warning to either do some weeding or a general survey of the plants growing around your compound.
2. Put gap between agave and your dogs
If agave is a must-have in your compound, it could be grown but there should be a barrier between the agave and your furry friend.
This means you could make a small barrier fence and plant your agave plant somewhere in the middle of your little made garden.
Here, your dog will not be able to easily access the agave thus there will be little chances that your dog has eaten agave.
If the barrier method is not as efficient, it is also advisable to try and put some thorny stems before the agave plant.
Thus your dog will be obstructed by the thorny plants when trying to reach the agave.
3. Remove thorny plants
Apart from removing only plants that are poisonous from your compound, it is also advisable to remove thorny plants from being easily accessed by your dog.
Unless you are using them as a protective measure either against your agave or your garden in general.
They may hurt your dog as they play because of their thorns.
They may also get hurt themselves when trying to reach the pretty flower or fruit that is catching their attention in the thorny fruit.
4. Place a tall barrier
If the above barrier methods do not work, it would be advisable to get a proper barrier fence that is high enough to be able to grow your agave and other plants such as potatoes which can be extremely toxic if eaten raw.
This will help prevent the entry of your dog into your garden while protecting your plants from unwanted visitors such as rabbits or your dog.
5. Observe further
As you make the necessary adjustments, it is important to realize that you should give your compound a proper survey to uproot any weeds especially those that may be poisonous to your dog.
It does not have to necessarily target plants, it may also be in form of removing toxic chemicals that may have been left carelessly in the compound such as fertilizers.
Which are the other options of succulents you could plant around your home other than agave?
Here are some of the other succulents you could consider planting instead of agave in your compound:
- Burros tail\horse tail\stone crop
In conclusion, it is important to keep your agave plants away from your dog to prevent poisoning.