Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Small Ruminant Rumen acidosis due to grain overload was the cause of death in three, 2‐month‐old Boer kids and illness in several other kids. Clinical signs included diarrhea, excess thirst, lethargy and some animals progressed to ataxia, moaning and bloat. Preceding the onset of signs, kids housed with their dams had escaped from their pen and consumed 3‐way grain fed to the pigs. Rumen pH of 4.5 (very acidic) and rumenitis were found in all three kids at necropsy.

Avocado toxicosis caused heart necrosis and death in a 3‐month‐old Pygmy goat that was found down with labored breathing. Pieces of avocado leaves were identified in the rumen confirming exposure. Avocado trees were present on the property where the goat was housed. Leaves, fruits, and seeds of Guatemalan avocado cultivar and its hybrids have been shown to be toxic, with the leaves especially so. The toxin in the plant is known as persin. High doses of persin cause acute cardiac damage whereas lower doses result in non‐infectious mastitis in lactating animals; goats seem to be particularly sensitive to the mammary effects of the toxin. There is no specific treatment for affected animals; activated charcoal is recommended if it can be given relatively soon after exposure.

CAHFS Connection

In order to stay in contact with our clients and to provide updates on current diagnostic findings and new information, CAHFS has a monthly electronic newsletter, CAHFS CONNECTION.  A special report on West Nile virus (WNV) in California is available by clicking here.


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