Alkaloid derived from the tropical tree Strychnos nux-vomica that has been used in specific circumstances to destroy pests and vermin (moles). Approved under the Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986 (rev 1991) only for the destruction of moles underground.

[affected.gif] Animals most affected
Dogs, (cats, all species).

[etiology.gif] Etiology
Accidental ingestion of baits intended to control pests. (In the UK its use is authorized exclusively as a taupicide, the amount of strychnine present in such products not exceeding 0.5%.) Despite restrictions, strychnine is the substance most frequently implicated in the poisoning of dogs (in France), especially in cases where there has been criminal or malicious intent.
Note:relatively large stocks of denatured strychnine are still available in France, found in 'patented' products which would normally be used for destroying foxes.

[toxic.gif] Toxicity
Convulsant poison acting on the medullary centres.
Oral doses in mg/kg:
LD50 strychnine  
  rats 16
  pigeons 21
  ducks 3
  horses 0.5
LD50 strychnine sulphate  
  rats 0.5-3
  dogs 0.75
  cats 2
  pigs 0.5
  cattle 0.5

[clinical.gif] Clinical signs and lesions
Within the first few minutes to several hours following ingestion:

[lesions.gif] Lesions

Note: following ingestion and absorption of denatured strychnine, the buccal mucosae, oropharynx and stomach contents may show a blue or blue-green discoloration.

[treatm~1.gif] Treatment
Specific treatment:

Symptomatic treatment:

control convulsions:

reduce absorption:

[labinv~1.gif] Laboratory investigations