Wide variety of species, of which those most significant in veterinary toxicology include:

Euphorbia lathyrus (spurge, caper spurge);
Euphorbia helioscopia (sun spurge);
Euphorbia cyparissias (cypress spurge);
Euphorbia peplus (petty spurge);
Euphorbia amygdaloides (wood spurge);
Euphorbia macu Jata (spotted spurge);
Euphorbia prostrata (caustic creeper, creeping spurge);
Euphorbia uralensis (Russian spurge).

All belong to the plant family EUPHORBIACEAE. Monoecious herbaceous plants with a milky sap, green-yellow inflorescences of small flowers (a number of male flowers and one female flower). Fruit are elongated, three-valved capsules containing several oval seeds.


[affected.gif] Animals most affected
Cattle, goats, (sheep).


[etiology.gif] Etiology
Ingestion of contaminated hay (the green plant has a very bitter, acrid taste, generally rejected by animals).


[toxic.gif] Toxicity
Contains an irritant milky latex which includes several resins, euphorbone, euphorbo-resene, euphorbic acid and an acrid substance not yet fully identified.
Toxicity of the plant is hardly modified by cutting or drying. Toxic doses not known.


[clinical.gif] Clinical features
Note: milk from animals poisoned by the Euphorbia species will be toxic.


[treatm~1.gif] Treatment

No antidote. Symptomatic care only: