If you have any reason to suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please contact your veterinarian or one of the other resources listed:
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center 24-hour hotline at (888) 426-4435
• Pet Poison Helpline® 24-hour animal poison control service at (855) 764-7661

Dogbane, Indian Hemp

Common Names: Dogbane, Indian Hemp
Scientific Names: Apocynum androsaemifolium, Apocynum cannabinum, Apocynum x floribundum

The dogbane is a perennial native to most of North America often found on roadsides, woodland edges, recent clearings and fields. Animals generally avoid the plant due to its bitter, sticky, milky-white sap. All parts of the plant, fresh or dry, contain cardiac glycosides with the principle toxin being cymarin.


Signs and symptoms of toxicity:
Increased temperature and pulse, dilated pupils, loss of appetite, blue coloration of mucous membranes, body weakness and possible convulsions

Toxic consumption: A lethal dose for most animals is believed to be about 0.5 grams per kilogram of body weight (0.2 g/lb) but deaths have been reported for cows at as low as 15 grams. If you believe you pet has consumed this plant, seek treatment as soon as possible. If possible induce vomiting and take sample of plant for identification.

Dogs: Dogbane/Indian Hemp Toxic Consumption
Yorkie, Chihuahua
Pug, Boston Terrier, Poodle
Beagle, Scottish Terrier
Boxer, Cocker Spaniel
Retriever, German Shepherd
Great Dane, St. Bernard
1 – 10 lbs.
(0.45 – 4.6 kg)
11 – 25 lbs.
(5 – 11.4 kg)
26 – 40 lbs.
(11.8 – 18.2 kg)
41 – 70 lbs.
(18.6 – 31.8 kg)
71 – 90 lbs.
(32.3 – 40.9 kg)
91 – 110 lbs.
(41.4 – 50 kg)
dog1 dog2 dog3 dog4 dog7 dog6
> 0.2 g > 2.5 g > 5.9 g > 9.3 g > 16.1 g > 20.7 g
Cats: Dogbane/Indian Hemp Toxic Consumption
Most Cats Large Cats
1 – 10 lbs.
(0.45 – 4.6 kg)
11 – 25 lbs.
(5 – 11.4 kg)
cat1 fat cat
> 0.22 g > 2.5 g

– Hemp dogbane (apocynum cannabinum). United States Department of Agriculture Research Service Web site. http://www.ars.usda.gov.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/Research/docs.htm?docid=9938. Updated 2006. Accessed January 4, 2015.
– Apocynum cannabinum. North Carolina State University Web site. http://plants.ces.ncsu.edu.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/plants/all/apocynum-cannabinum/. Accessed January 4, 2015.
– Blakely B, Waldner C, Bildfell R, Black W. Plants poisonous to animals. The MERCK Manual Pet Health Edition Web site. http://www.merckmanuals.com/pethealth/special_subjects/poisoning/plants_poisonous_to_animals.html. Updated 2011. Accessed January 4, 2015.
image: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a3/SpreadingDogbane.JPG

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