Iowa State University Veterinarian

Document Type



Plant poisoning in small animals is often overlooked as a cause of clinical problems. Even though it is an infrequent occurrence, veterinarians need to be aware of the various problem plants and their actions on the animal's body. The most common body system affected is the gastrointestinal system, followed by the cardiovascular and nervous systems. Plants also cause irritation to the skin as well as mechanical injury. Some toxic substances found in plants are used to manufacture commonly used drugs. There are many examples including cardioactive glycosides, atropine, and acetylcholine. When consumed in sufficient quantities by a healthy animal even these substances can be fatal.