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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Poisonous Plant Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #334538

Research Project: Understanding and Mitigating the Adverse Effects of Poisonous Plants on Livestock Production Systems

Location: Poisonous Plant Research

Title: Spontaneous poisoning by Prosopis juliflora (Leguminosae) in sheep

Author
item Almeida, V - Federal University Of Pernambuco
item Rocha, B - Federal University Of Pernambuco
item Pfister, James - Jim
item Medeiros, R - Federal University Of Pernambuco
item Riet-correa, F - Federal University Of Pernambuco
item Chaves, H - Federal University Of Pernambuco
item Silva Filho, G - Federal University Of Pernambuco
item Mendonca, F - Federal University Of Pernambuco

Submitted to: Pesquisa Veterinaria Brasileira
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/26/2016
Publication Date: 2/1/2017
Citation: Almeida, V.M., Rocha, B.P., Pfister, J.A., Medeiros, R.M., Riet-Correa, F., Chaves, H.A., Silva Filho, G.B., Mendonca, F.S. 2017. Spontaneous poisoning by Prosopis juliflora (Leguminosae) in sheep. Pesquisa Veterinaria Brasileira. 37(2):110-114.

Interpretive Summary: The aim of this paper is to describe the first report of clinical, epidemiological and pathological aspects of spontaneous poisoning by Prosopis juliflora in sheep. Of a total of 500 sheep at risk, two adult male sheep were affected; one died spontaneously and the other animal was examined, euthanized and necropsied. Neurologic examinations focused particularly on motor and sensory-cranial nerve functions. Complete blood counts, serum biochemistry and urinalysis were done. The biochemistry revealed a significant increase in serum creatine phosphokinase level. The evolution of the disease was chronic and before sheep showed signs of poisoning, sheep had to ingest a diet containing at least 80% of P. juliflora pods during 21 months. Clinical sign includes drooling of saliva, dropped jaw, tongue protrusion and loss of food from the mouth. Gross and histological lesions were similar to those previously reported in cattle and goats. There is no specific treatment for P. juliflora poisoning in ruminants. Sheep are quite resistant to poisoning considering that it took 21 months of pod consumption for two out of 500 sheep to show clinical signs.

Technical Abstract: The aim of this paper is to describe the first report of clinical, epidemiological and pathological aspects of spontaneous poisoning by Prosopis juliflora in sheep. Of a total of 500 sheep at risk, two adult male sheep were affected; one died spontaneously and the other animal was examined, euthanized and necropsied. Neurologic examinations performed focused particularly on motor and sensory-cranial nerve functions. Complete blood counts, serum biochemistry and urinalysis were made. The biochemistry revealed a substantial and severe increase in creatine phosphokinase level. The evolution of the disease was chronic and to present signs of poisoning, sheep had to ingest a diet containing at least 80% of P. juliflora pods during 21 months. Clinical sign includes drooling of saliva, dropped jaw, tongue protrusion and loss of food from the mouth. Gross and histological lesions were similar to those previously reported in cattle and goats. There is no specific treatment for P. juliflora poisoning in ruminants. Sheep are quite resistant to poisoning considering that it took 21 months of pod consumption for two out of 500 sheep to show clinical signs.