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Hepatotoxicity to dogs of horse meat contaminated with indospicine

Hepatotoxicity to dogs of horse meat contaminated with indospicine

Australian Veterinary Journal 65(11): 337-340

An outbreak of liver disease which killed more than 30 dogs at Alice Springs was associated with feeding meat from horses, some of which had developed Indigofera linnaei poisoning (Birdsville horse disease). Affected livers were small, nodular and yellow. There was associated jaundice, ascites, elevation of alanine aminotransferase levels in serum, a tendency to bleed, and signs of hepatic encephalopathy. Histologically, livers showed periacinar necrosis collapse and haemorrhage with severe swelling vacuolating and cholestasis in remaining hepatocytes. Indospicine, a toxic amino acid found in the genus Indigofera, was detected in samples of suspect horsemeat. Experimental feeding of horsemeat containing 16 mg indospicine/kg for 32 days produced periacinar necrosis and hepatocellar swelling in 2 dogs, although neither died nor showed clinical illness. In another experiment, intakes of as little as 0.13 mg indospicine/kg bodyweight/day for 70 days produced periacinal liver lesions, and indospicine concentrations in serum, muscle and liver rose during this period to 3.9, 7.9 and 17.5 mg/kg, respectively. It was concluded that meat from horses grazing I. linnaei can be hepatotoxic for dogs,a ns that this toxicity may be relative to its indospicine content.

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Accession: 001850727

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PMID: 3214366

DOI: 10.1111/j.1751-0813.1988.tb14259.x

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