There are many varieties worldwide of the genus Ranunculus, of which
the following are of importance in veterinary toxicology:
Ranunculus bulbosus (bulbous buttercup, crowfoot, frogsfoot, goldcup, St.
R. sceleratus (celery-leaved crowfoot);
R. repens (creeping buttercup, crow-foot);
R. acris (meadow buttercup, crowfoot, upright meadow, goldcup, grenouillette);
R. lingua (great spearwort);
A member of the plant family RANUNCULACEAE. Annual or perennial herb with erect
or creeping rootstock. Hollow stems are much branched, hairy or smooth. Yellow or
white flowers. The plant favours wet meadows, pastures, ditches and damp places.
Animals most affected
Sheep, goats, (horses).
Ingestion of large quantities of fresh plants over a prolonged period of time. Poisoning
relatively rare as the plants have an acrid, bitter taste, although the application
of agrochemicals, particularly the phenoxy acid herbicides (2,4-D, 2,4,5-T, MCPA,
etc.), increases the palatability of these plants.
Contains an acrid, oily irritant principle, protoanemonin. The plant is most toxic
when flowering; drying the plant lowers its toxicity. Toxic doses not known.
With reference to R. acris, a diet containing 20 - 40% of the plant may be tolerated
for several weeks without causing any adverse toxic effects.
salivation subsequent to inflammation and irritation of the buccal mucosae and
diarrhoea (blackened stools) with colic.
haematuria (occasional), ataxia, weakness, blindness.
Generally favourable. However, if large quantities ingested, possibility of a rapid
deterioration with convulsions and death within several hours.
severe and intense gastroenteritis;
No antidote. Symptomatic care only:
adsorbents, gastrointestinal demulcents;