Lantana's Toxicity to Dogs

All parts of the lantana plant can cause canine liver failure.
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Lantana, also known as wild sage, yellow sage and shrub verbena, is a flower of the Verbenaceae family. Although it is a native of the tropics, it is a popular flowering annual or perennial shrub in North American gardens. In the southern U.S. it grows wild in hedgerows and fields. It has brightly colored flowers, which change from yellow and pink to deep orange and red, aromatic leaves and a blue to black berry-like fruit containing a seed.

Toxins and Effects

The lantana plant contains triterpenoids. These are liver toxins and they are found in all parts of the plant. Animals that are familiar with the plant often avoid it because of its pungent smell, but if your pup has never encountered it before, he might be inclined to taste it. Symptoms appear one to two days after ingestion of a toxic dose, which the Veterinary Medicine Library at University of Illinois says is equivalent to 1 percent or more of the animal's body weight. Symptoms include jaundice, constipation and loss of appetite. Lethargy, weakness and diarrhea are other signs. The majority of dogs don't ingest a fatal dose, but unless the dog is treated immediately, he can deteriorate and die within one to three weeks. A fatal dose causes death in two to four days. Seek veterinary help immediately if your dog eats lantana.