Stinging Nettle & Dogs

ltcollins1949(9a TX)April 27, 2007

Regarding stinging nettle, I know a lot of us are lovers of our little "furbabies" as Jolana refers to them, i.e. pets. A friend recently lost her miniature dachshund from some type of unknown poisoning. She always had him on a leash, and antifreeze was the first guess which was ruled out. Someone said that maybe he ate some guinea hen fowl "poop" which I poo-pooed. Well I was out to "save the day" to try and help my friend solve the mystery. HA!

Well after much discussion and research, I found the following information about STINGING WOOD (BULL) NETTLE Urtica dioica Laportea canadensis being toxic/poisonous to pets. And where she walked her little guy was in an area here on the water that had nettle around it. He could have easily scratched his belly with the stuff.

So I have been doing more research on stinging nettle, and it is mentioned as being toxic on several good websites.

(1) Purdue U website Purdue states the following about stinging nettle: ANIMALS AFFECTED: Any animal that brushes against or consumes the plant can be affected. Short-haired hunting dogs and other dogs that run through the underbrush are more likely to encounter this plant. Also there is a lot more on the website.

2) The Cornell U website says it too can be toxic to animals. See Cornell for more information.

(3) Government of Canada website Canada states: The stinging hairs readily break, allowing the secretions to enter skin. Humans receive a painful sting, followed by a small reddish swelling and prolonged itching and numbness. Initial reactions last only a few minutes but repeated contact can cause the pain to intensify and last for days. Hunting dogs in the United States were poisoned and died after massive exposure to the plants (Bassett et al. 1977, Mitchell and Rook 1979, Anon. 1982). There is more information on this website.

So if you have nettle around, make sure your pets try to avoid the stuff.

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trsinc(8 TX)

Thank you for posting this! I never would have thought that animals could be fatally harmed by it. I wonder if this is what I got in my foot last year? I was wearing flip flops, in my back yard, and all of the sudden jumped about 3 feet off the ground. I had a red bump on the arch of my foot and after about a week it became larger and more red and I had a fever. After two weeks, I went to the doctor (I had been taking some left over antibiotics for a burn - prior to the dr. appt.). The doctor said, "Oh, well, your body will just work it out." I said I had been limping for two weeks, how long would it take?

She then decided to have a look. With some sort of magnifying goggles (looked like a welding mask) she peeled back the skin and low and behold, there were many little stingers in there. She literally had to dig a small hole in my foot. Ugh, doctors!! Wonder what would have happened if I had just left and not pressed?

If this was bull nettle, then I can see how it could really harm a pet. I won't go into all the other details, sorry if what I said grossed anyone out.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 12:16PM
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ltcollins1949(9a TX)

I think that people need to be award of stinging nettle, just like other potentially poisonous plants, i.e. poison ivy, oak, sumac, castor bean tree, oleanders, etc.

Just because they are poisonous doesn't mean you can't grow them, but rather just be award that they are poisonous and be cautious where you plant them and how you treat them, and teach animals and children not to eat them.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 3:13PM
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pjtexgirl(7b DFW)

It's always good to press medical issues. Oh my that really had to hurt! I'm really sorry about the little dog. My "girls"(dogs) are kenneled(with access to the house). Their area outside is barren. It helps keep them safe from stuff that will hurt them when I'm not looking.PJ

    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 3:36PM
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prairiepaintbrush(RedOak, TX z7/8)

PJ, I'm getting the impression that your "girls" are rather wild. ;0)

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 11:40PM
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prairiepaintbrush(RedOak, TX z7/8)

trsinc, what time of year were you out? If it was fall, you probably stepped on what we texans call an asp, but what is really called a puss moth caterpillar. They are vile, awful, painful, evil creatures and they look cuddly.

Here is a link that might be useful: puss moth caterpillar info

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 11:45PM
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trsinc(8 TX)

prairie, it seems like it was late summer, could have been early fall. I had wondered also if it was an asp or something similar, though I've never seen one around here. No telling what it was for sure, but that sucker hurt!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 5:00PM
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pjtexgirl(7b DFW)

They look like a pet worm for Cousin It from the Addam's family.
Prarie, we refer to the dogs as "creative"! LOL! They are smart and curious. The older dog is getting senile/goofy and I gotta really keep an eye on her. No telling what she might get in to.PJ

    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 6:54PM
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