Aconitum napellus (aconitum, blue rocket, friar's cap). Related species: A. variegatum (spotted aconite), A. lycoctonum (wolf s bane). A member of the plant family RANUNCULACEAE. Perennial tuberous plant, with light green narrowly divided leaves and purple helmet-shaped, hooded flowers.
Fruit usually have one or more follicles, each containing 10-15 black seeds with winged edges.


[affected.gif] Animals most affected
Sheep, cattle, goats (other species)


[etiology.gif] Etiology
Ingestion of the plant (rare, due to its acrid taste), or contaminated forage or hay.


[toxic.gif] Toxicity
All parts of the plant contain the alkaloid aconitine, with the highest concentration found in the tubers (roots) and seeds, lower amounts in the leaves and stems. The alkaloidal content is at its maximum just before flowering (Jun-July). Actual toxic doses are not well known.

Oral doses of the plant:
TD dogs 2-5 g dried plant material
  horses 200-400 g fresh plant material
Note: horses, donkeys and goats are more sensitive to aconitum than sheep.

Aconitine (by parenteral route):


[clinical.gif] Clinical features


[lesions.gif] Lesions
Non-specific:gastric and renal congestion.


[treatm~1.gif] Treatment
No available antidote. Symptomatic and supportive care: