Indexed on: 02 Jan '10Published on: 02 Jan '10Published in: Toxicon
Farmers report that the pods of Luetzelburgia auriculata cause digestive signs and death when ingested by goats. To demonstrate the toxicity of the pods of this plant 12 goats were divided into 4 groups of 3 goats each. Groups 1, 2, 3 and 4 were administered 2.5, 1, 0.5 and nil g of pods per kg body weight, respectively. Goats in Groups 1 and 2 developed decreased ruminal movements followed by anorexia, depression and soft feces or diarrhea. Goats in Group 1 died 59-106 h after first showing clinical signs. Goats in Group 2 also regurgitated rumen content, but all recovered 65-90 h after first showing clinical signs. The only clinical sign shown by goats in Group 3 was regurgitation of rumen content, and all goats recovered 5.5-24 h after first regurgitating. All goats in Group 4 remained normal. The goats that died were necropsied and found to have a reddish mucosa of the forestomachs that detached easily from the underlying tissues. Other lesions included diffuse reddening of the mucosa of the abomasum and intestine. Histological examination of the mucosa of the forestomachs showed diffuse ballooning degeneration of keratinocytes, with necrosis and vesicle and pustule formation in the epithelium. In some areas there was sloughing of the ruminal epithelium. These results demonstrate that the pods of L. auriculata are toxic and responsible for field outbreaks of poisoning in goats in the state of Piaui.