Linum usitatissimum (cultivated flax, linseed). A member of the plant family LINACEAE. Annual cultivated plant/crop, with oil-bearing seeds (small, flat, dark brown with a depression around the edges).


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


[etiology.gif] Etiology
Ingestion of the oil-cake.


[toxic.gif] Toxicity
Contains a cyanogenetic heteroside, linaroside. This is found in the seed cake which may contain varying amounts of HCN, ranging from 50 to 860 mg/kg.
The seedcake is made from flour and distributed in a wet state. However, the cake is more toxic wet than dry. In the wet state, hydrolysis of the heteroside is greater and the reaction is more complete.
Toxic oral doses:



[clinical.gif] Clinical features

Onset of clinical signs may he immediate

If the quantities ingested are lower

If the dose ingested is minimal



[lesions.gif] Lesions


[treatm~1.gif] Treatment
Often not possible as the onset of clinical effects is so rapid. The following may be tried: