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Monday - June 09, 2008

From: Folwerville, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Are black walnut and sugar maple poisonous to alpacas
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I have alpacas and wonder if black walnut or sugar maple are poisonous to them.


The standard poisonous plants databases don't normally list alpacas in the animals that are considered, but there is a specific database, Plants that are Poisonous to Alpacas, that lists Juglans nigra (black walnut) and Acer rubrum (red maple) as toxic. Alpacanation.com also has lists for plants poisonous to alpacas.

From the standard poisonous plants databases, the Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System says that black walnut (Juglans nigra) shavings used as a bedding for horses can cause laminitis. Other symptoms listed are ataxia, rapid breathing, depression, lethargy, and recumbency. The Indiana Plants Poisonous to Livestock and Pets database advises limiting access of horses to pastures with black walnut trees. The hulls of the fruits also cause gastric distress in dogs. 

Several poisonous plant databases list Acer rubrum (red maple), or Acer sp. (specifically the leaves) as being toxic to horses, causing hemolytic anemia. The symptoms include depression, weakness, anorexia, red or brown urine, yellow or brown mucous membranes. See the following databases:

Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System

Texas Toxic Plant Database

University of Pennsylvania Poisonous Plants

There are no specific references to Acer saccharum (sugar maple), but the University of Pennsylvania Poisonous Plants database shows this warning:

"While there are no documented cases of other Acer sp. causing intoxication, they should be considered a potential problem until proven otherwise. Thus, access of horses to silver and sugar maples should be restricted."

Juglans nigra

Acer rubrum

Acer saccharum

Acer rubrum

Acer saccharum



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