What is Cape Jasmine Poisoning?
The Cape Jasmine plant grows as an evergreen shrub with alternate leaves, white fragrant flowers, and white to pink berries (fruit), which become black or dark purple when ripe. The Cape Jasmine is a popular garden hedge or potted indoor plant. There are several toxic principles in the Cape Jasmine such as geniposide and gardenoside which are iridoids. These are present throughout the entire plant and most concentrated in the berries whether ripe or unripe. This can be a serious condition depending on if the plant or berries were eaten, so if you are not sure, it is best to see a veterinarian just to be on the safe side.
Cape Jasmine poisoning is usually a moderate condition recognized by cardiovascular changes, central nervous system abnormality, and gastrointestinal irritation. There are several toxic principles in the Cape Jasmine, which are crocetin, gardenoside, geniposide, glycosides, iridoids (geniposidic acid and genpin), and sapoids. If you think your furry friend has eaten any part of a Cape Jasmine plant or bush, you should see a veterinary professional right away.
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Symptoms of Cape Jasmine Poisoning in Dogs
- Rapid and irregular heart rate
Central nervous system signs
- Dilated pupils
- Intermittent blindness
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
Other clinical signs
- Stiff walk
Cape Jasmine (gardenia jasminoides) is part of the Rubiaceae family in the order of gentianales of the genus gardenia. Some other common names are:
- Cape Jessamine
- Gardenia grandiflora
- Gardenia longisepala
- Gardenia maruba
- Gardenia pictorum
- Genipa florida
- Genipa grandiflora
- Genipa radicans
- Warneria augusta
Causes of Cape Jasmine Poisoning in Dogs
- Atropine-like alkaloids are found in the fruit (seeds)
- Crocetin is in the entire plant
- Gardenoside can be found throughout the plant
- Geniposide is in the entire plant
- Glycosides are in the roots, stem, fruit, and leaves
- Iridoids (geniposidic acid is in the whole plant as genpin)
- Saponins are in the sap and the fruit (seeds)
Diagnosis of Cape Jasmine Poisoning in Dogs
Even if you have not seen any signs of toxicity, if your dog consumed any part of a Cape Jasmine plant you should see a veterinary professional as soon as possible because waiting can make it more difficult to treat. Your veterinarian will do a complete and thorough physical examination which includes vital statistics, overall appearance, stature, reflexes, and abdominal palpation. The veterinarian will ask you for more details about what your dog ate and when, whether you have seen any symptoms, as well as your dog’s medical history and vaccination records if you have them.
A urinalysis, blood chemistry analysis, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and creatinine (CREA) levels will be performed to check the kidney function. In addition to a blood count, glucose and blood gas levels are needed to determine how much toxin is in your dog’s body and to verify if any other damage has occurred. Additionally, x-rays of the abdomen can give the veterinarian a view of what is going on inside your dog. Sometimes, for a more detailed view, an ultrasound and CT scan are necessary.
Treatment of Cape Jasmine Poisoning in Dogs
Your dog’s treatment depends on how much was eaten, whether the berries were consumed, and your dog’s health and size. The test results will also be a factor in treatment. Most often, encouraging your dog to vomit with a hydrogen peroxide solution will be done to clean out your dog’s system. Activated charcoal will be given to absorb the toxins as well. The veterinarian will correct the fluids and electrolyte levels to prevent dehydration from diarrhea and vomiting. Medication such as diuretics or steroids will be administered to reduce hypercalcemia. Intravenous fluids will be administered to flush the kidneys, and if your dog has any skin irritation, the veterinarian will most often apply a topical ointment to relieve the inflammation and itching.
Recovery of Cape Jasmine Poisoning in Dogs
If you get treatment for your pet as soon as possible, recovery should take less than a week. The veterinarian may keep your dog in the hospital for observation for 24 - 36 hours. The skin problems can be expected to heal within two weeks, but call your veterinarian if it gets worse or does not heal. A follow up appointment is only necessary if there are complications. To prevent this from happening in the future, be sure to remove the Cape Jasmine or move it out of your dog’s reach.