Lantana Poisoning in Dogs

Veterinary reviewed by: Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS

Lantana Poisoning in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Veterinary reviewed by: Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS

Lantana Poisoning in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What is Lantana Poisoning?

Lantana poisoning in dogs is common in the southwestern United States in places where it is allowed to grow wild. The toxic ingredient in lantana is a triterpenoid, which is extremely toxic and dangerous to your dog as well as other animals and children, if consumed. Triterpenoid can damage your dog’s hepatic system (gallbladder, bile ducts, and liver). While the entire plant of the lantana is poisonous, the berries are the most toxic. Not all lantana plants have berries, but those that do are dark blue (almost black) and very small (1/4 inch) that are grouped in small clusters. Some believe that the berries are safe if they are completely ripe, but scientists have proven that all berries from the lantana can be fatal.

Although lantana originated in Central America, it can now be found in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. In these states, reports of lantana poisoning are common in areas where the plant grows wild. Lantana of the Verbenaceae family is a beautiful flowering plant that may be yellow, orange, red, purple or white. Some lantana produce blue-black berries, which are the most toxic part of the plant. Unfortunately, the mortality rate is high in the more serious cases. If you think your dog may have eaten any part of a lantana plant, see a veterinary medical professional immediately even if you have not noticed any symptoms, as this is a life-threatening emergency.

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Lantana Poisoning Average Cost

From 392 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$400

Symptoms of Lantana Poisoning in Dogs

The initial symptoms of lantana poisoning, weakness and appetite loss, are evident within the first 24 hours of consumption. More serious symptoms will begin to develop over the next several days, such as bloody diarrhea, paralysis, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes) from damage to the liver. The symptoms of lantana poisoning vary depending on how much your dog ate, what part of the plant was consumed, and what kind of lantana it is. Some of the most commonly reported symptoms are:

  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Frequent urination
  • Inability to move (paralysis)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Liver failure (dark urine, weakness, yellowing of the skin and eyes - jaundice)
  • Sensitivity to the sun (photosensitization)
  • Shock
  • Swelling of the abdomen
  • Vomiting
  • Death

 Types

Lantana (lantana camara) is in the Verbenaceae family in the order of the lamiales. Some of the other common names for lantana are red sage, wild sage, yellow sage, shrub verbena, and viburnum lantana. Lantana can grow to over six feet tall, but they are most commonly about three to four feet on average. There are approximately 150 types of lantana, but the most common in the United States are:

  • Lantana camara
  • Lantana depressa
  • Lantana hirsuta
  • Lantana horrida
  • Lantana splendens
  • Lantana strigocamara
  • Lantana montevidensis
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Causes of Lantana Poisoning in Dogs

The cause of lantana poisoning is consuming a toxic amount of lantana. The toxic components of lantana are:

  • Pentacyclic triterpenoids (Lantadene A, Lantadene B)
  • Pentacyclic triterpene acids (Icterogenin, Dihydrolantadene A, reduced lantadene)
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Diagnosis of Lantana Poisoning in Dogs

If you can, bring a portion of the lantana plant with you to the veterinarian so they can determine which type it is because some are more toxic than others. This will help the veterinarian get a definitive diagnosis and decide on a treatment plan. During the physical examination, the veterinarian will check your dog’s reflexes, weight, height, body temperature, breath sounds, blood pressure, respiration and pulse rate. Tell the veterinarian all of the details about the incident, like how much and what part of the plant your dog ate. You should also have your dog’s health history and vaccination records, and should mention if you have noticed any unusual behavior or appetite changes.

Some tests that will be performed are a biochemical profile, complete blood count and urinalysis. The blood tests will show an increase in bilirubin and the hepatic enzymes AST and SDH. Imaging done with x-ray, CT scan, MRI, and ultrasound may also be necessary. To determine if your dog is dehydrated, a packed cell volume (PCV) test should be done as well.

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Treatment of Lantana Poisoning in Dogs

An effective treatment usually consists of providing IV fluids and electrolytes, an activated charcoal meal to absorb the toxins and possible a gastric lavage to empty the stomach.  There may be supportive treatments required for any complications, such as inflammation of the liver or kidney damage. Hospitalization may be necessary in serious cases.

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Worried about the cost of Lantana Poisoning treatment?

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Recovery of Lantana Poisoning in Dogs

Chances for your dog’s recovery are good if treated quickly. Once your dog is allowed to go home, continue the medication and limit the amount of sunlight they are exposed to due to potential photosensitivity. Unfortunately, if treatment is not done before liver damage occurs your dog’s chances are poor. Be sure to remove all lantana from your property wherever your dog is allowed to go and call your veterinarian if you have any concerns.

Lantana poisoning in dogs can be expensive to treat. For the "ultimutt" protection against emergency vet care costs, start searching for pet insurance today. Wag!’s pet insurance comparison tool lets you compare plans from leading companies like PetPlan and Embrace. Find the “pawfect” plan for your pet in just a few clicks!

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Lantana Poisoning Average Cost

From 392 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$400

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Lantana Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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M'Lady Love Williams

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Chihuahua

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12 Years

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3 found helpful

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3 found helpful

Has Symptoms

None At This Time

My 12 year old Chihuahua was sniffing around the Lantana in my flowerbed just minutes ago. I saw her chewing on a leaf and scolded her, made her stop. I don't think she swallowed any. However after reading this page I'm really worried. Could one leaf cause her to become ill and die...especially since I don't believe she swallowed any?? I'm keeping an eye on her, so far she is acting normal. She came in drank water and is now laying in her bed snoring away. All normal. What exactly should I watch for other than erratic breathing? Diarrhea is often something she deals with, so I need other signs, please. There are no berries on the plant at this time.

Sept. 10, 2018

M'Lady Love Williams' Owner

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Little Tex

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Labrador Retriever

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3 Years

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15 found helpful

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15 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Multiple

My 3 year old lab starting having seizures in March, 2018 (age 2.75). He was put on Keppra, 750 mg., bid after his second seizure. Blood work was negative for “poisoning”. We have both Sago Palm and Lantana. He had normal liver function on blood work. He was sent to a neurology Vet who doubled the Keppra dose to 3000 mg. q.d. About 6 wks later, he started vomiting and had bloody diarrhea and would not eat anything. He had an abdominal X-ray which showed acute gastritis. He was hospitalized for two days-got IV Flagyl and Amoxicillin. He almost died but recovered fully. Three Vets said this could be due to toxicity from the high dose Keppra, but the neurologist states it is not even remotely possible. We cut back the Keppra to 750 bid. He has had no other Gi symptoms but continues seizures about every three weeks. The neuro Vet prescribed phenobarbital, but we don’t want to give it due to possible liver damage. Is it possible this could be the lantana? Would poisoning from this show up on blood work? They assured me this would not be poisoning from Sago, but we didn’t discuss Lantana. He loves to eat nut grass around the plants as does our other lab. She has never been sick. I’ll mention that his brother (litter mate) had PRAA at birth-not a really healthy litter. Thank you so much for any advice you can give me. I plan to take him to TAMU for a work-up when we can afford it.

Aug. 13, 2018

Little Tex's Owner

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15 Recommendations

Lantana poisoning may also result in liver failure but is less common (more common with livestock) and is not as toxic as sago palm; small quantities of Lantana may cause gastritis. I cannot say what the cause of the gastrointestinal symptoms were but generally Keppra (levetiracetam) side effects result in lethargy than anything else. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/lantana/ www.vin.com/veterinarypartner/default.aspx?pid=19239&catId=102894&id=4952949

Aug. 14, 2018

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Lantana Poisoning Average Cost

From 392 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$400

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