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Mechanisms underlying Phalaris aquatica "sudden death" syndrome in sheep

Mechanisms underlying Phalaris aquatica "sudden death" syndrome in sheep

  1. Anonymous
    CA BOURKE 1 MJ CARRIG
    Australian Veterinary Journal. Volume 69 Issue 7, Pages 165 - 167
    Published Online: 10 Mar 2008

    Twenty outbreaks of Phalaris aquatica "sudden death" syndrome in sheep were Investigated between 1981 and 1991. Four were confirmed and one was suspected, to be a cardiac disorder; 5 were confirmed and 3 were suspected, to be a polio-encephalomalacic disorder; the aetiology of the remaining 7 outbreaks could not be determined. Potentially toxic levels of hydrocyanic acid (20 to 36 mg/100 g) were measured in the 3 toxic phalaris pastures tested. The measurement of potentially toxic levels of nitrate nitrogen (2920 μg/g) in toxic phalaris pastures by others, was noted. It is suggested that phalaris "sudden death" syndrome could have as many as 4 different underlying mechanisms, and that these might reflect the presence in the plant of a cardio-respiratory toxin, a thiaminase and amine co-substate, cyanogenic compounds, and nitrate compounds.