Toxicological evaluation of the plant Xanthium strumarium in Pigs in Zimbabwe

Author(s): Masvingwe C, Mavenyengwa M


Major clinical signs were depression, vomiting, abdominal pain, weakness, recumbency, paddling convulsions terminating in death from 6 to 96 hours after ingestion. Gross pathological findings included ascites with fibrin strands, enlarged, congested and friable livers with accentuation of lobulation on the capsule. Microscopically, acute hepatic congestion and hemorrhage, centrilobular hepatocyte necrosis, with occasional binucleation together with discoid lysis of skeletal and cardiac muscle fibers were remarkable changes. Binucleation of hepatocytes and degenerative changes in active muscles have not been reported before in relation to cocklebur plant toxicosis. These findings suggest that X. strumarium is a potential cause of sudden death in pigs extensively reared in Zimbabwe.

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