VPIS - Veterinary Poisons Information Service

Bluebells

image by Stephen Gunby via Flickr

Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) is a plant native to woods and hedgerows and widely cultivated; it flowers from April to June.

All parts of these plants contain scillarens which are cardiac glycosides similar in structure to those of foxglove (Digitalis species).

Clinical signs of toxicity are generally gastrointestinal (abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea) and cardiac (bradycardia, tachycardia, arrhythmias). Most cases reported in the literature involve cattle or equines who graze on the plants. In cases reported to the VPIS involving cats and dogs, only gastrointestinal signs were reported (no serious cases). Treatment is symptomatic and supportive in all cases.