Solanum tuberosum (edible potato). A member of the plant family SOLANACEAE. Herbaceous plant with starchy, white underground tubers (the potato), and green aerial parts (‘fanes'), with leaves and flowers very similar to deadly nightshade.


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


[etiology.gif] Etiology
Poisoning occurs after ingestion of excessive quantities of green potatoes, old potato skins, discarded potato haulms or old potatoes exposed to sunlight.
The use of nitrophenols, including dinitroorthocresol, dinoseb, coloured nitrates (nitres), as anti-sprouting chemicals make the plant extremely toxic to game animals such as hare, rabbits (see effects compared with those caused by nitrophenols).


[toxic.gif] Toxicity
Contains the glycoalkaloids solanine, particularly in the skins, sprouting parts and old or green tubers, in the stems, leaves and the unripe fruit, and solanidine, a steroidal alkaloid. Solanine has a direct irritant effect, especially on mucous membranes. It depresses the CNS, the respiratory and motor centres, and inhibits cholinesterases. Toxic doses not known.

[clinical.gif] Clinical features
Gastrointestinal

Neurological

Eczeinatous effects
Have been described on limbs (ridged skin with crusts).

Prognosis
Generally good.


[lesions.gif] Lesions
Non-specific. Symptomatic care only: