Is Vinca Minor Toxic to Dogs?

by Betty Lewis
    Your pup probably won't smile if he eats vinca minor.

    Your pup probably won't smile if he eats vinca minor.

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    Pretty and easy to grow, vinca minor is one of the most popular gardening choices for ground cover. Also called periwinkle and running myrtle, it may not be a good choice for your garden if you have a dog. No matter what you call it, this plant is toxic for dogs.

    According the the ASPCA, vinca minor is considered toxic to dogs. This pretty purple or blue flower contains a number of toxic alkaloids, including vincristine and vinblastine, which are drugs used in human cancer treatments. Pet Poison Helpline lists the plant as usually mild to moderate in toxicity, depending on how much is ingested. If you catch your pup snacking on vinca, you may see a loss of coordination, seizures, diarrhea, vomiting and depression. Though the toxicity is usually moderate at worst, don't delay in seeking veterinary treatment if you think your dog has eaten some of this flower. Coma and death can occur, so a trip to the vet is in order. Take a sample of the plant so the vet can confirm the diagnosis and determine the best course of treatment.

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    About the Author

    Betty Lewis is a writer and editor specializing in pet care, animals, careers and emergency management. She previously ran an animal shelter, where she also served as a kennel attendant and dog trainer. Lewis holds a bachelor's degree in journalism, an M.B.A. and a master's degree in professional studies.

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