Running Myrtle Poisoning in Dogs


What is Running Myrtle Poisoning?

The running myrtle stems in Madagascar, Sri Lanka, and India. It is likewise typical in South Africa and Australia, however in the United States it just grows well in warmer environments such as Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas. This plant is an outstanding ground cover, with short, shiny evergreen leaves and star-like blossoms in tones of lilac, magenta, white, purple, and red. The running myrtle has more than 100 hazardous alkaloids that can be harmful if consumed by your pet. A few of these alkaloids might trigger reduced high blood pressure and nerve system disruption, along with the cell damage that they are reported to produce.

Running myrtle poisoning is brought on by the intake of the Catharanthus roseus plant, which is more frequently known as the running myrtle or periwinkle. This harmful charm has more than a hundred various hazardous homes consisting of dimeric alkaloids, vinca alkaloids, and indole alkaloids. These compounds avoid cells (blood cells, protein) from dividing as they should. The adverse effects vary from small headache to significant cell damage which might be deadly.

Signs of Running Myrtle Poisoning in Dogs

If your family pet has actually taken in part of a running myrtle plant, it is best to see a veterinary expert as quickly as possible. If you cannot get a consultation with your routine vet, take your pet to the closest veterinary center or medical facility even if you have actually not seen any signs yet.

  • Bloating
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Throwing Up
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Agitation
  • Incoordination
  • Anxiety
  • Tremblings
  • Hypotension (drop in high blood pressure)
  • Seizures
  • Heart attack (cardiovascular disease)
  • Coma
  • Death (unusual)


The botanical name of running myrtle is Catharanthus roseus (formerly Vinca rosea), which is from the Apocynaceae household. A few of the extra typical names that running myrtle is known by are:

  • Baramasi
  • Cape periwinkle
  • Typical periwinkle
  • Greater periwinkle
  • Madagascar periwinkle
  • Old house maid
  • Rosy periwinkle
  • Sadabahar
  • Sadaphuli
  • Sadapushpi
  • Vinca

Reasons For Running Myrtle Poisoning in Dogs

The running myrtle has more than 100 alkaloids that are dangerous to dogs. In truth, much of these are utilized as cancer drugs, and the vinca alkaloids are the 2nd most frequently utilized class of cancer drugs in the United States and Europe.

  • Dimeric alkaloids (vinflunine, vinorelbine, vinpocetine) trigger damage of specific protein cells
  • Indole alkaloids (catharanthine, yohimbine, vincamine, vindoline) are vasodilators that increase the blood circulation to the brain and reduce leukopenia (leukocyte), decreasing the capability to eliminate infection
  • Vinca Alkaloids (vinblastine, vincristine, vindesine,) damages specific cells in the body, consisting of tubulin, which is a protein

Medical Diagnosis of Running Myrtle Poisoning in Dogs

It is essential to bring a part of the plant or a photo if you can, to assist the vet determine the reason for toxicity. You need to be prepared to explain the event, consisting of just how much of the plant you believe your pet taken in and if you have actually observed any signs. Likewise, let the vet understand if you have actually offered your family pet any medication in current days or weeks, no matter whether they are prescription or over-the-counter drugs.

The very first thing the vet will require to do is a physical exam, which most frequently consists of weight, height, student response time, pulse, reflexes, respiration rate, breath noises, body temperature level, high blood pressure, and pulse ox (oxygen level). In addition, the vet will most likely wish to inspect your pet’s heart muscle and electrical activity with an electrocardiogram (EKG) and might likewise do an echocardiogram (ECHO). An endoscope will likely be utilized to inspect the throat and upper respiratory tract for swelling or plant particles that might require to be gotten rid of. This will be done while your pet is sedated for security factors.

Lab tests required for medical diagnosis might consist of a urinalysis, chemical profile, total blood count (CBC), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), jam-packed cell volume (PCV), glucose level, and liver enzyme panel. The blood count will reveal anemia (reduced hemoglobin) and a reduction in the variety of leukocyte in the case of running myrtle poisoning. In addition, stomach radiographs (x-rays) will be required to look for swelling and blockages. In some cases, the vet might wish to carry out an ultrasound, MRI, or CT scan too.

Treatment of Running Myrtle Poisoning in Dogs

Dealing with running myrtle poisoning resembles other poisonings, however will be changed depending upon your pet’s signs and test outcomes. The most typical treatment consists of evacuation, decontamination, medication, and observation.


The vet will most likely provide your family pet an emetic such as peroxide or ipecac to cause throwing up. Likewise, triggered charcoal will be offered by mouth to take in the toxic substances still in your pet’s system.


To flush your pet’s kidneys, intravenous (IV) fluids and electrolytes will be offered. This will likewise assist avoid dehydration brought on by throwing up and diarrhea.


There is no known remedy for running myrtle poisoning, however there are numerous treatments that have actually worked in some cases. A few of these are pyridoxine, folinic acid, vitamin B12, and thiamine.


Your family pet will most likely be kept over night for observation. While hospitalized, treatment such as fluids, oxygen, and other medication will be offered as required.

Healing of Running Myrtle Poisoning in Dogs

Your pet’s opportunities of healing are great in most cases. If you do not acquire treatment or in the occasion that your family pet consumes a big quantity of running myrtle, diagnosis will be safeguarded. Treatment in the medical facility need to suffice to avoid any enduring issues; be specific to follow all directions concerning medications and supplements per the veterinary group’s directions.

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