Digitalis purpurea (purple foxglove, common foxglove). Related species: Digitalis lutea. A member of the plant family SCROPHULARIACEAE. Erect, biennial herbaceous plant with soft oval, hairy green leaves that form a rosette. Clusters of pink-purple, tubular-shaped flowers, forming capsular fruit containing very many small seeds.


[affected.gif] Animals most affected
Horses, cattle, (sheep).


[etiology.gif] Etiology
In exceptional cases direct ingestion of the fresh plant, or more frequently, ingestion of fodder contaminated with foxglove. Poisoning in animals, however, is very rare.


[toxic.gif] Toxicity
Contains cardiotoxic heterosides or glycosides (digitoxin and digitoxoside), and a saponin (digitonin). The leaves are the most toxic part of the plant.

Oral doses in g fresh leaves:
LD cattle 160-200
  horses 120-150
  sheep 25-30
  dogs 5-20

   

[clinical.gif] Clinical features

Gastroenteritis
(The first sign to present and often the only effect in mild cases):


Renal effects

Neurological effects

Cardiac effects
(May be delayed or present immediately in cases of serious poisoning):


Clinical symptoms may progress and intensify over several days, with the possibility of death.



[lesions.gif] Lesions
Mild to moderate enteritis.


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