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Clinical and pathological studies on intoxication in horses from freshly cut Jimson weed (Datura stramonium)-contaminated maize intended for ensiling : clinical communication

R. Binev, I. Valchev, J. Nikolov
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 77, No 4 | a380 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v77i4.380 | © 2006 R. Binev, I. Valchev, J. Nikolov | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 June 2006 | Published: 11 June 2006

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R. Binev,
I. Valchev,
J. Nikolov,

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Abstract

Spontaneous intoxication in 34 horses after ingesting freshly harvested maize that was to be used for ensiling and heavily contaminated with young Datura stramonium plants, is described. The clinical status of all horses was monitored for 7 days, and included body (rectal) temperature, respiratory and heart rates, colour and moistness of visible mucosae, changes in pupil size, appetite, thirst, general behaviour, locomotion, sensory perceptions, urination and defaecation. The intoxication was accompanied by altered clinical status, namely mild hyperthermia, tachycardia, polypnoea, dyspnoea and shallow breathing, mydriasis, dry oral, rectal, vaginal and nasal mucosae, acute gastric dilatation and severe intestinal gas accumulation, anorexia to complete refusal of feed, decreased or absent thirst, absence of defaecation and urination. As a result of the treatment, the clinical parameters normalised between days 2 and 5. Necropsies and pathological studies were performed on two horses that died, revealing toxic liver dystrophy, cardiac lesions and substantial dystrophic and necrotic processes in the kidneys. The observed clinical signs, the pathomorphological changes and the applied therapy could be used in the diagnosis, differential diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of Jimson weed intoxication.

Keywords

Atropine; Horses; Intoxication; Jimson Weed (Datura Stramonium); Scopolamine; Tropane Alkaloids

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