Codiaeum variegatum (St Joseph's coat, codiaeum). A member of the plant family EUPHORBIACEAE. Popular indoor houseplant with thick, large-veined trilobed leaves which are dappled with a wide range of colours (yellow and pale green, through orange and red to almost black).


[affected.gif] Animals most affected
Dogs, cats.


[etiology.gif] Etiology
Ingestion of the milky sap released by chewing the leaves. Direct contact of the skin and mucous membranes with the sap.


[toxic.gif] Toxicity
Irritant sap containing euphorbones, flavonoids. Toxic doses not known.


[clinical.gif] Clinical features
Local effects
Arising from irritation of the skin and mucous membranes:
blisters and erosions of the buccal mucosae;
conjunctivitis;
favourable outcome within several days of exposure.

General effects
Following ingestion:
vomiting;
diarrhoea, occasionally haemorrhagic; colic;
muscular contractions, muscular tremor;
prognosis frequently very poor.


[lesions.gif] Lesions
Haemorrhagic gastroenteritis.


[treatm~1.gif] Treatment
No specific antidote. Symptomatic care only.