Yes, chinaberries are highly toxic to dogs if ingested. Chinaberry trees (Melia azedarach) are also known as Persian lilac, white cedar and China ball trees. According to the Pet Poison Helpline, the entire tree is toxic, with higher toxin amounts in the berries.
The poisonous components in chinaberries are meliatoxins. Affected dogs generally show gastrointestinal signs first, including vomiting and diarrhea. When dogs eat large quantities of berries, the clinical signs progress to depression and seizures. Death can occur within 24 hours without supportive care. If your dog ingests chinaberry leaves, bark, flowers or berries, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Elizabeth Muirhead is a practicing veterinarian with an undergraduate degree in biological sciences. She has real-world experience with the husbandry, grooming, training and feeding a variety of household pets.