A DOG lover is warning pet owners to be wary of a highly toxic plant after claiming her Labradoodle died after eating its flower buds.
Nicky Smith, 47, of Ashford Road, was devastated when her six-month-old pet dog Huxley collapsed and later died at a veterinary centre.
The mother-of-two bought an Oleander Nerium in a pot and put it in the back garden of their home.
But that evening Huxley is believed to have eaten some of its flower buds and become extremely sick.
Nicky, who works as a midwife at the Conquest Hospital, said: “It was very distressing to see your pet in so much pain.
“There were warnings on the plant but I had no idea that they could be so deadly.”
Nicky’s ordeal began on Thursday June 14 when she bought the plant from a local shop.
She put in the back garden but by 8am on the Saturday morning Huxley started being sick.
Along with her husband Peter Smith, they took the dog to 1066 Vets in Battle Road, St Leonards.
The vet treated the dog and gave him drugs and they returned home.
But overnight Huxley’s condition deteriorated and in the morning he slipped into a coma.
At 8am they returned to the vet but he died on the treatment table.
Nicky is adamant her pet died from eating part of the plant.
She said: “We could see some of the buds that Huxley had brought up. He struggled to breath, his gums turned blue and he displayed all the symptoms of being poisoned.
“The care label advises; ‘care should be taken when handling this plant as sap is toxic’ and ‘Take indoors during winter.’
“And there is another label stating ‘toxic when eaten.’ I would just urge everyone to make sure that animals and children don’t go near these plants.”