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Toxic Karaka berries can be fatal for dogs.

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26 Jan, 2024

Toxic Karaka berries can be fatal for dogs.

We are seeing plenty of fruit this season on our Karaka trees around Franklin, especially in Pukekohe,  Papakura, and Manukau. This is great for reproduction but not so awesome for dogs that like to eat or mouth everything.

The fruit is highly toxic to dogs so identifying the tree and its fruit is essential for dog walkers. They have large glossy dark green leaves and can grow up to 15 meters tall. The berries are orange and shaped like an olive. These trees are often found in parks and reserves as well as being a very common backyard specimen.

The fruit remains toxic for many months after the fruiting season so vigilance is key. The berries contain a neurotoxin that once ingested can cause convulsions, paralysis, and even death, so seek immediate veterinary attention if you suspect your dog has eaten them. There is a window where prompt treatment will greatly increase the chances of survival.

This native tree attracts our native wood pigeon the Kereru, which loves the fruit,  so they are a great asset to the garden for bird watchers. They are low-maintenance trees and will add to the biodiversity of any property.