Science

Dog owner's warning over deadly plant that caused her golden retriever severe brain damage


Dog owner issues urgent warning over deadly ‘lords-and-ladies’ plant after her beloved golden retriever Lola suffered severe brain damage from eating its poisonous berries and had to be put down

  • Chloe Allen, 22, was forced to put her golden retriever Lola down on March 26
  • Her dog consumed a couple of ‘lord-and-ladies’ berries last year and fell ill
  • After eight months of suffering, Chloe made the decision to put Lola down
  • She now wants to warn other dog owners of the dangers the plants present 

A devastated dog owner has issued a warning over deadly lord-and-ladies plants after her golden retriever was left severely brain-damaged and had to be put down. 

Chloe Allen, 22, said her dog Lola had been caring for her five-week-old puppy Daisy when she ate one of the dangerous berries in August 2020.

On March 26, following eight months of pain, Chloe was forced to put Lola down.

Minutes after eating the red berries, Lola began having a seizure which caused her to lose her sight, hearing and develop a respiratory disease and epilepsy.

Chloe Allen, 22, (pictured) has issued a warning over deadly lord-and-ladies plants after her golden retriever Lola was left severely brain damaged and had to be put down

Chloe Allen, 22, (pictured) has issued a warning over deadly lord-and-ladies plants after her golden retriever Lola was left severely brain damaged and had to be put down

Chloe said her dog Lola had been caring for her five-week-old puppy Daisy when she ate one of the dangerous berries in August 2020. Minutes after eating the red berries, Lola began having a seizure which caused her to lose her sight, hearing and develop a respiratory disease and epilepsy

Chloe said her dog Lola had been caring for her five-week-old puppy Daisy when she ate one of the dangerous berries in August 2020. Minutes after eating the red berries, Lola began having a seizure which caused her to lose her sight, hearing and develop a respiratory disease and epilepsy

Lola’s body began producing excess stomach acid to fight off the life-threatening berries – causing parts of her tongue to burn away.

Six-year-old Lola has spent eight months in-and-out of vets in a bid to ease her suffering.

However, vets last week made the heart-breaking decision to put Lola to sleep after her condition deteriorated.

Speaking today about the decision to put Loa down, Chloe said: ‘I slept with her every night on the concrete floor in the kennel in the vets.

‘When she woke up she didn’t know who I was and she was completely blind.

Lola's body began producing excess stomach acid to fight off the life-threatening berries - causing parts of her tongue to burn away

Lola’s body began producing excess stomach acid to fight off the life-threatening berries – causing parts of her tongue to burn away

Pictured: Part of Lola's tongue was burnt away after she produced excess stomach acid in an attempt to fight off the lord-and-ladies berries

Pictured: Part of Lola’s tongue was burnt away after she produced excess stomach acid in an attempt to fight off the lord-and-ladies berries

‘Lola struggled for months with epilepsy and so many more health problems.

‘Ever since having puppies Lola would always search for any spot in the bushes for her puppies, the vet said this is normal behaviour and that she was nesting.

‘We were on a walk one day and I noticed she was in a particular hedge for a few minutes like normal so didn’t think anything of it.

‘The next day I went back to the hedge and found lords and ladies (poisonous plant).

‘There were three plants and one plant had about two berries missing. Straight away it clicked.’

Chloe said that while Lola was being cared for by vets, she lost her sight and would wake up not knowing who Chloe was

Chloe said that while Lola was being cared for by vets, she lost her sight and would wake up not knowing who Chloe was

Not wanting other dog owners to have to go through what she had, Chloe issued a warning on April 2 on Facebook about the dangers of lord-and-ladies berries

Not wanting other dog owners to have to go through what she had, Chloe issued a warning on April 2 on Facebook about the dangers of lord-and-ladies berries

She also said that Lola had been her best friend and that they had been inseparable during their time together and that now she was doing all she could to protect her other two golden retrievers.  

Not wanting other dog owners to have to go through what she had, Chloe issued a warning on April 2 on Facebook about the dangers of lord-and-ladies berries.

She said: ‘I am writing this post to spread awareness and possibly save another dog’s life from the hell my Lola went through.

‘Please look out for these berries, I’ve had so many messages of people saying they’ve found them in their gardens.

Lords-and-ladies plants are usually spotted as early as April and May and are identifiable by their large arrow shaped leaves (stock image)

Lords-and-ladies plants are usually spotted as early as April and May and are identifiable by their large arrow shaped leaves (stock image)

‘Please pull them out so your dog doesn’t have to go through hell and back like Lola did.’

Chloe’s post has now gained over 1,500 likes and 700 hundred comments and she has been flooded with supportive messages for sympathetic social media users.

One person replied to her warning post and said: ‘So sorry. Thank you for posting to prevent this from happening to other loved ones. You are very brave, God bless.’

Another praised Chloe for warning other dog users. They said: ‘So sorry for your loss. Thank you for getting the word out about those plants!

‘It may prevent some other poor dog from going through what your Lola did.’

What are lord-and-ladies plants? 

Lords-and-ladies plants are usually spotted as early as April and May and are identifiable by their large arrow shaped leaves.

They hold leaf-like flower heads with a long inner spike which carries yellow flowers.

This spike produces the recognisable berries which Lola unfortunately ate.

All parts of the lords-and-ladies plants are poisonous and are known to cause irritation in the mouth and throat which can result in difficulty breathing.

The plant – also known as cuckoo pint (Arum maculatum) – is found in farmland, woodland, towns and gardens.

The plants present a danger to dogs because of the toxins they contain, which are crystals that can cause pain and swelling, among other side effects. 

Lord and ladies poisoning can be caused when a dog consumes any part of the plant, but the berries are the most commonly consumed part of the plant.

These are also the most dangerous part of the plant as they contain the most toxins, called calcium oxalates.

On top of pain in the mouth and lips area, the toxins can also cause swelling to occur in a dog’s throat. 

Source:  wagwalking.com

Lord-and-ladies plants present a danger to dogs because of the toxins they contain, which are crystals that can cause pain and swelling, among other side effects (stock image)

Lord-and-ladies plants present a danger to dogs because of the toxins they contain, which are crystals that can cause pain and swelling, among other side effects (stock image)

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