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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Thursday - February 24, 2011

From: Waco, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Dogs developing allergic skin problems in Waco TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have 2 West Highland White terriers..since we moved 2 yrs. ago, they have developed TERRIBLE skin problems at our new home, about 5 miles from our old home, in Waco. What contact plants, shrubs, tress could cause this? Is there anything we can put in our St. Augustine grass that would eliminate any fungus/harmful bacteria in the grass? What plants, trees, veggies, shrubs should we AVOID planting?

ANSWER:

You probably don't want to hear this, but dogs are really out of our area of expertise. In the first place, we have no idea what plants you might have in your new garden. Some of them could very well be non-natives that have been planted or have migrated into your yard. And if there is a list of plants specific to Central Texas that causes dog allergies we couldn't find it. However, when we Googled on "dog allergies to plants," we found a lot of information. We are going to list some of these websites that looked promising to us. Of course, the first thing we would suggest, if you have not done so already, is take those dogs to a veterinarian. We would be willing to bet that the veterinarian has heard this before. It may take some testing, some experimental removal of certain plants, etc. but the vet is the best resource.

Plant Food and Contact Allergies in Dogs

Identifying and Controlling Your Dog's Allergies

Plant Allergies in Dogs

Skin and Allergy Problems in Dogs

Toxic Plants for Dogs

That should give you a good start, and most of those articles have links to other lists and articles, as well. Start out by identifying what is different in your new yard from what was in the old yard, where they apparently did not have this problem.

 

 

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