Suspected Vestia foetida poisoning in young goats

Suspected Vestia foetida poisoning in young goats
Peer reviewed


CASE HISTORY: Two crossbred, castrated male goats, a 5-month-old and an 8-month-old, were observed ingesting Vestia foetida (Solanaceae). Later, the goats were seen standing splay-legged and apparently disoriented.
CLINICAL FINDINGS: When examined, both goats were in sternal recumbency and had mydriasis; the younger goat had a diminished menace response. When the goats were made to stand, they were ataxic and had muscle fasciculations of the hindquarters and face. Both had halitosis consistent with the odour of crushed Vestia leaves. The animals were treated with a mixture of vitamins and intravenous diazepam. The older goat recovered but the younger goat died and was necropsied. This animal had severe periacinar necrosis and fatty change in the liver, as well as fatty nephrosis.
DIAGNOSIS: Probable Vestia foetida poisoning.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The introduction of Vestia foetida to New Zealand and the apparent palatability of the plant necessitate that veterinarians and owners be knowledgeable about its potential toxicity. Differential diagnoses for the liver lesions (in New Zealand) would include Cestrum poisoning, acute seneciosis, acute blue-green algal poisoning, and acute and chronic copper poisoning.
KEY WORDS: Plant poisoning, caprine, goat, Vestia foetida, beta-carboline, Solanaceae

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