Conium maculatum (spotted hemlock, poison hemlock, poison parsley, herb bennet, spotted corobane). A member of the plant family UMBELLIFERAE. Branching herbaceous plant. The stem is hollow, branched and ridged, purple-spotted at its base. The leaves are dark green with burgundy-red spots and a foetid odour, similar to cat urine.


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


[etiology.gif]
Etiology
Due to its disagreeable odour, poisoning by ingestion of the fresh green plant is rare. Incidences of deliberate poisoning (mainly of dogs) have been reported.


[toxic.gif] Toxicity
Contains the alkaloids conime, conhydrine, conicine, methyl conicine and coniceine. The entire plant is toxic especially before fruiting; toxicity diminishes once the plant is mature, and is reduced to a minimum after cutting and drying.

Toxic oral dose in kg fresh plant material:
LD cattle 2-4
  horses 3-5
  sheep 0.8
  ducks 0.05-0.07

The plant is teratogenic, causing skeletal defects.


[clinical.gif] Clinical features



[lesions.gif] Lesions
Non-specific: pulmonary and intestinal congestion.


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