Castor Bean

Castor Bean

Pictured: Castor Bean

Poisonous to: Cats, Dogs

Level of toxicity: Generally moderate to severe, life-threatening

Common signs to watch for:

  • Inappetanc
  • Drooling
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Severe bloody diarrhea
  • Abdominal straining
  • Weakness
  • Trembling
  • Hypotension (drop in blood pressure)
  • Sudden collapse
  • Death

This plant (Ricinus sp.) contains a highly toxic glycoprotein called ricin and ricicine, an alkaloid found in both the seeds and leaves. Ricin is a glycoprotein that prevents protein synthesis; when ingested, clinical signs of inappetance, drooling, abdominal pain, vomiting, severe bloody diarrhea, abdominal straining, weakness, trembling, hypotension (drop in blood pressure), and sudden collapse may be seen. This plant has a very narrow margin of safety; only a small amount ingested can result in severe poisoning. Death can occur with even a very small ingestion of the beans.

Poison type: plants

Alternate names: Ricinus, seed, African Wonder tree, Euphorbiaceae