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Poisoning in small animals from commonly ingested plants
  1. Alexander Campbell

    Alexander Campbell graduated in physiology from King's College, London, in 1988. Since then he has worked as an information officer for the National Poisons Information Service (London). He was involved in developing the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS) and, since its launch in 1992, has been manager of the VPIS centre in London.


POISONING or suspected poisoning as a result of plant ingestions is a relatively common occurrence. Some 12 per cent of inquiries received by the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS) concern plant ingestions, most of these involving dogs and cats, although a number involve livestock as well. While in many cases animals remain asymptomatic or suffer little more than gastrointestinal upset, there are a few instances where more severe clinical effects have resulted. This article reviews the data available on a number of plants about which the VPIS receives regular inquiries. Other recognised toxic plant species, such as yew, acorns, ragwort, bracken, rhododendron, brassicas, laburnum, water dropwort and also mycotoxins, have been covered in earlier articles in this series.

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