Aristolochia clematitis (Birthwort, Snakewort).
A member of the plant family ARISTOLOCHIACEAE. Perennial plant with a horizontal
root (rhizome), ridged stem and leaves shaped like upside-down hearts. Tubular dull
yellow flowers and small, pear-shaped fruits.
Animals most affected
horses, (sheep, cattle).
Ingestion of contaminated forage (very common with lucerne-based fodder).
Very large quantities must be consumed for poisoning to occur.
Contains aristolochine, an irritant, acidic alkaloid, which is found
principally in the roots and the seeds. Toxic doses unknown.
Tachycardia, weak pulse.
Ataxia, sluggishness, torpor, coma.
Outcome often satisfactory, but recovery is slow.
Acute inflammation and irritation of the urinary tract.
No antidote. Symptomatic care only.