Dogbanes (Apocynum cannabinum L. and other species)
| Description | Distribution | Conditions of poisoning | Control | Toxic principle | Clinical signs | References
This is a perennial milky-juiced herb of the Dogbane family. It has opposite leaves which are simple, nearly 5 inches long and about half as wide, with smooth margins.
This weed is scattered throughout the United States in open fields, pastures, along roadsides and streams. Sometimes the plant is cultivated for ornament and for use in medicine.
This plant is reportedly very distasteful and animals usually avoid so poisoning is infrequent. It is consumed primarily when other forage is in short supply. Both green and dried dogbane are toxic. Fifteen to 30 grams of green leaves has been reported as causing death of a horse or a cow. The root of Apocynum cannabinum has been employed therapeutically to "retard the heart in systole" and was therefore used for "dropsy" and "heart trouble."
Keep animals from grazing along roadsides, in abandoned fields, or in any other areas where dogbanes are growing. Do not cut hay from land infested with dogbanes. Get rid of these plants in all areas in which animals are grazed or from which hay is cut to be used as feed.
Animals that have eaten appreciable quantities of dogbane show first a rise in body temperature, sweating, and a strong pulse but cold extremities. The pupils of the eyes are usually dilated. The inside of the mouth and nostrils becomes discolored, and later the mouth becomes so sore that the animal refuses food. In spite of this, bowel action may be frequent. Death is likely to follow.
Dogbane entry in Wikipedia
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