Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Plant poisoning: hallucinogenic toxins

Contributor(s): Rosalind Dalefield, Patricia Talcott

Introduction

  • Hallucinogenic toxins are found in a number of plants.  Domestic cats could be exposed to:
    • Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans).
    • Morning glory (Ipomeaspecies).
    • Deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna  Deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna)).
    • Jimson weed, Angels trumpet or moonflower (Datura species).
    • Mescal bean, frijolito, Eves necklace (Sophora species).
    • Goldenchain tree (Laburnum anagyroides Laburnum anagyroides).
    • Henbane (Hyoscyamus niger).
    • Peyote, mescal, mescal buttons (Lophophora williamsii).
    • Cannabis sativa (marijuana) appears to cause hallucinations in dogs, and might do the same in cats.
  • Reports of toxicities are uncommon in cats.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Nutmeg: myristicin, elemicin and safrole.
  • Morning glory: lysergic acid.
  • Deadly nightshade, Datura species, and henbane (Hyoscyamus): belladonna alkaloids including atropine, hyoscamine, and hyoscine.
  • Sophora species and goldenchain (Laburnum): cytisine.
  • Peyote: mescaline and other alkaloids.
  • Cannabis: tetrahydrocannabinol.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Young cats might be more susceptible due to their inquisitive natures.
  • Owners who use illicit drugs sometimes deliberately feed them to pets.
  • Abusers of Datura or Cannabis species may derive other products such as moonflower tea from Datura, or hashish from Cannabis, which animals may drink or eat.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Plumlee Konnie H (editor) (2004) Clinical Veterinary Toxicology. Mosby.
  • Peterson & Talcott (editors) (2001) Small Animal Toxicology. Saunders.
  • Osweiler Gary D (1996) Toxicology. Williams and Wilkins.
  • Turner & Szczawinski (1991) Common Poisonous Plants and Mushrooms of North America. Timber Press.

Organisation(s)


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