Is Creeping Myrtle Toxic to Dogs?

by Deborah Lundin
Use caution when choosing ground cover plants like creeping myrtle for your garden.

Use caution when choosing ground cover plants like creeping myrtle for your garden.

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Creeping myrtle, also known as running myrtle, Vinca minor and lesser periwinkle, is a fast-spreading evergreen ground cover with shiny green leaves and blue flowers. This plant contains many different vinca alkaloids including yohimbine, vincristine and vinblastine. These compounds are used as chemotherapeutic drugs in both humans and animals. When ingested by your dog, these and the other alkaloids can be highly toxic, even resulting in death when large amounts are ingested.

Symptoms of Creeping Myrtle Toxicity

After ingesting creeping myrtle, your dog can experience vomiting, diarrhea, a severe drop in blood pressure, depression, tremors, progressive paralysis, cardiac abnormalities, seizures, coma and even death. In addition, creeping myrtle can also cause liver or kidney damage. If you suspect your dog has eaten creeping myrtle, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Crepe or Crape Myrtles

Another plant with a similar name, the crepe myrtle, is actually a tree that produces flowers throughout the summer. This plant variety is non-toxic to dogs.

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