Nicotiana tabacum (common tobacco, Havana tobacco, giant tobacco). Related species: N. rustica (rustic tobacco, little tobacco, nicotiana). A member of the plant family SOLANACEAE. Cultivated annual herbaceous plant with an erect hairy stem and large, ovate, hairy, light green leaves. Flowers are pinkish (N. tabacum) or yellow (N. rustica) with smooth, oval capsular fruits.


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


[etiology.gif] Etiology
The fresh plant is very rarely ingested compared with the dried leaves which are frequently eaten (cattle), as are cigarettes, cigars and cigarette butts (dogs).


[toxic.gif] Toxicity
Contains the alkaloid nicotine which is highly toxic; the content increases as the plant grows and matures. The nicotine level is maximal when the plant is setting seed, but this also varies according to the method of cultivation. Drying does not modify or reduce its toxicity.

Oral doses:
DT in g dried leaves:
cattle 300-2000
horses 300-1200
sheep, goats 30-l00


[clinical.gif] Clinical features
If small amounts are ingested

If a large quantity is ingested

(In dogs, a persistent tachycardia frequently presents.)


[lesions.gif] Lesions
Non-specific and not pronounced: congestion of the gastrointestinal tract.


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