Alocasia antiquorum (taro, dasheen, eddo cocoyam), A. macrorrhiza, A. indica.
Related species: Colocasia esculenta (taro, elephant's ears). A member of the
plant family ARACEAE. Herbaceous plant with thick stem and downy leaves. Ornamental
plant of numerous varieties.
Animals most affected
Chewing and/or ingestion of the leaves.
The sap contains calcium oxalate crystals and a proteolytic enzyme, both of which
are intense irritants. Toxic doses unknown.
Intensity and severity of poisoning depend upon the species or variety of the plant.
Involve the buccal mucosae, lips and oropharynx, the eyes and skin of the head:
dermatitis and painful irritation;
temporary paralysis of the tongue, salivation, oedema and swelling of the face
occasionally erosion, possible ulceration of the buccal mucosae and tongue.
Vomiting, gastric and abdominal pain.
Generally favourable outcome, but recovery is slow (8-10 days).
erosion or ulceration of the mucous membranes;
No antidote. Symptomatic and supportive care only.
irrigation of mucous membranes with copious amounts of water;
irrigation of the eyes with anaesthetic drops (1% tetracaine) followed by an
antiseptic lotion or eye wash.
gastric lavage using an isotonic solution of sodium chloride, 5-10 mi/kg;
adsorbents (activated vegetable charcoal);
antiemetics (e.g. metoclopramide, 1-3 mg/kg by im injection).