Autumn crocus is extremely toxic for dogs

Colchicum autumnale extremely toxic

The autumn crocus is an 8-25 cm tall perennial herbaceous plant with leaves and flowers that sprout from the ground. They have a brown bulb. The green leaves, up to 40 cm long, appear in spring. The striking flowers come in autumn and are mostly pink to purple and can also be almost white in rare cases. They are very similar to crocuses and many a person has wondered about flowering crocuses in autumn.

All parts of the autumn crocus are poisonous, but especially the bulb, the flowers and the seeds. The tropane alkaloids contained in autumn crocus are highly toxic to dogs and can lead to severe kidney problems and even organ failure. This is why it is so important to act quickly if you suspect your dog has been poisoned by the autumn crocus.

Autumn crocus is also known as:
  • meadow saffron
  • naked ladies
Blooming meadow saffron in autumn

What should I do if my dog ate Autumn crocus?

How toxic is Autumn crocus?

Toxicity:extremely toxic (extremely toxic)
Toxic parts:The entire autumn crocus is poisonous, but especially the bulb, the flowers and the seeds.
Toxic time:winter, spring, summer, autumn
Antidote:Fab antibodies
If your dog shows symptoms of poisoning, it is always an emergency! Time is critical for your dog's life. You should immediately call your vet or the animal emergency services and make sure that a vet is on site and then go there immediately. For the treatment, it helps the vet a lot to know what your dog has ingested.

Occurrence Autumn crocus

Plant species:flower, Garden and wild plant
Occurrence:Gardens, Meadows
Flowering time:summer, autumn
Fruit ripening:spring, summer


The following symptoms may occur in case of poisoning with meadow saffron:

  • burning in the mouth
  • increased salivation
  • thirst
  • difficulty swallowing
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • stomach pain
  • diarrhoea
  • bladder pain and blood in the urine
  • muscle cramps
  • failure to pass urine
  • coma
  • shortness of breath

In cases of severe poisoning, organs may begin to fail after about one day, which can lead to death.


The vet will always try to remove the ingested poison from the body and alleviate the specific symptoms of poisoning.

There are different methods to remove the poison from the body:

1. ACTIVATED CHARCOAL: Activated charcoal can absorb toxins. If possible, it should be administered within 2 hours after ingestion of the poison, so that the toxin does not enter the bloodstream.
2. LAXATIVES: The vet may combine the administration of activated charcoal with a laxative.
3. VOMITING: The vet can also induce vomiting using medication to remove the toxin from the body. 

In addition, the veterinarian can alleviate the symptoms and, depending on the degree of poisoning, stabilise the body functions with medication, as well as infusions and artificial respiration. If available, the administration of the antidote can also be helpful.

More information on dog poisonings can be found here: 

Preventing, identifying and treating poisoning in dogs


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