Brunfelsia spp

From Dog

Brunfelsia spp are a group of flowering subtropical nightshade plants which produce berries that contain toxic alkaloids such as hopeanine[2].

Pharmacoactive ingredients produce strychnine-like symptoms.

These plants are actively promoted by nurserymen for their dramatic tri-colored blooms and drought resistance, and thus poisoning by these plants are an emerging problem.

Included in this species are:

  • Brunfelsia australis
  • Brunfelsia uniflora
  • Brunfelsia grandiflora
  • Brunfelsia hopeana
  • Brunfelsia calcyina var floribunda

Clinically affected dogs present with gastrointestinal, central nervous system, and cardiac pathology that may be lethal[3]. Clinical signs include vomiting, diarrhea, muscle tremors, anxiousness, opisthotonus and seizures[4].

Diagnosis is difficult but evidence of berries in stomach contents may be incriminating. Postmortem findings are usually unrewarding[5].

There is no known antidote for this toxicity, but aggressive supportive therapy with intravenous fluids, muscle relaxants such as diazepam or methocarbamol may be required.

Many of these poisonings are not usually fatal, but others frequently result in death unless rapid action is taken by the veterinarian[6].

In cases of poisoning, the plant should be removed from the garden, or the dog restricted from accessing the plant.


  2. Banton MI et al (1989) Brunfelsia pauciflora ("yesterday, to-day and tomorrow") poisoning in a dog. Vet Hum Toxicol 31(5):496-497
  3. Clipsham R (2012) Brunfelsia australis (Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow tree) and Solanum poisoning in a dog. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 48(2):139-144
  4. Singh M et al (2008) Brunfelsia spp (yesterday, today, tomorrow) toxicity in four dogs. Aust Vet J 86(6):214-218
  5. Spainhour CB et al (1990) A toxicological investigation of the garden shrub Brunfelsia calcyina var. floribunda (yesterday-today-and-tomorrow) in three species. J Vet Diagn Invest 2(1):3-8
  6. Botha CJ & Penrith ML (2009) Potential plant poisonings in dogs and cats in southern Africa. J S Afr Vet Assoc 80(2):63-74