Equis ISSN 2398-2977

White Snakeroot (Ageratina altissima)

Contributor(s): Anthony Knight, Vetstream Ltd

Introduction

  • White Snakeroot is an erect, branching perennial native to North America.
  • Found in wooded areas and shaded pastures.
  • Leaves are simple, opposite, with serrated edges and long petioles.
  • Flowers are small, white and produced in flat-topped clusters at the ends of branches   White Snakeroot (Eupatorium rugosum)  . 
  • Can grow up to 4 feet tall.
  • All parts of the plants are toxic.
  • Snakeroot causes 'milk sickness' in humans.
  • Ensure removal of the plant from pastures.
  • Most horses will avoid the plant unless other forage is lacking.

Toxicity

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Clinical signs

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Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prognosis

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Nicholson S S (1989) Tremorgenic syndromes in livestock. Vet Clin North Am - Food Anim Pract 5, 291-300.
  • Olson C T, Keller W C, Gerken D F & Reed S M (1984) Suspected tremetol poisoning in horses. JAVMA 185, 1001-1003 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Knight A & Hall J (2004) The 10 Most Dangerous Plants for Horses. Equus 320, 71-81.
  • Burrows G E & Tyrl R J (2001) Toxic Plants of North America. Iowa State University Press, USA.
  • Allison K (1999) A Guide to Plants Poisonous to Horses. J A Allen & Co Ltd. ISBN: 0851316980.
  • Cooper M R & Johnson A W (1998) Poisonous Plants and Fungi - An Illustrated Guide. The Stationery Office. ISBN: 0112429815.
  • Allison K & Day C (1997) A Guide to Plants Poisonous to Horses. British Association of Holistic Nutrition and Medicine.
  • White J L, Shivaprasad H L, Thompson L J & Buck W B (1985) White snakeroot (Eupatorium rugosum) poisoning. Clinical effects associated with cardiac and skeletal muscle lesions in experimental equine toxicoses. In: Plant Toxicology. Eds: Seawright A A, Hegarty M P, James L F & Keeler R F. Dominion Press, Hedges and Bell, Melbourne, Australia. pp 411-422.

Organization(s)

  • Cornell University - Poisonous Plants Informational Database. Website: www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants.
  • Guide to Poisonous Plants. Website: www.southcampus.colostate.edu/poisonous_plants.
  • ToxicologyOnline.com. Website: www.toxonline.com.
  • Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS), London Center, Medical Toxicology Unit, Avonley Road, London SE14 5ER, UK. Tel: +44 (0)20 7635 9195; Fax: +44 (0)20 7771 5309.
  • Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS), Leeds Center, The General Infirmary, Great George Street, Leeds LS1 3EX, UK. Tel: +44 (0)113 245 0530; Fax: +44 (0)113 244 5849.


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