Common Name
Dogbane, Indian hemp.
Botanic Name
Apocynum cannabinum L.
Plant Family
Common along streams, irrigation ditches and open spaces. Spreading dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium) is more common in wooded areas at higher altitudes.
Animals Affected
Cattle, horses
Toxic Principle
Dogbane contains cardiac glycosides (cynarin, apocynein) which are found in all plant parts, especially the leaves. Generally only very small quantities of the plant need to be ingested to invoke the potent effects of the toxins. Dogbane is rarely eaten by livestock unless they are starving.
Perennial erect herbs growing from a spreading root system. Stems are red, smooth and branched, and contain a milky sap. Leaves are opposite, entire, and hairless. Clusters of small white flowers are produced at the ends of branches. Seeds are produced in narrow paired pods 8-10" in length. Each seed has a tuft of white hairs.
Abdominal pain due to hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, vomiting
Symptomatic therapy is indicated as necessary.
Cardiovascular system
A variety of severe arrhythmias and conduction disturbances of the myocardium that result in an irregular heart rate, decreased cardiac output and death. Mild myocardial degeneration.
Ocular System
Dilation of pupils
Special Notes
Dogbane seed pods.