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Ciência Rural

Print version ISSN 0103-8478


BEZERRA, Cícero Wanderlô Casimiro et al. Plant poisonings in ruminants and horses in Southern Ceará, Northeastern Brazil. Cienc. Rural [online]. 2012, vol.42, n.6, pp.1070-1076. ISSN 0103-8478.

A survey on toxic plants for ruminants and equidae was performed on the municipalities of Juazeiro do Norte, Crato, Barbalha, and Missão Velha on the Ceará state, Northeastern Brazil. Twenty one interviews were realized with farmers, veterinary practitioners, agronomists and agriculture technicians. Poisonings by Ipomoea asarifolia mentioned in 38% and 19% interviews as toxic for bovines and sheep, respectively, and Enterolobium contotisiliquum, mentioned as toxic for cattle (47.6% of the interviews) and sheep (4.7%), were more frequent. Also occur in the region poisonings by Mascagnia rigida (38% of the interviews), Anadenanthera colubrina var. cebil (=A. macrocarpa) (14%), Ricinus communis (14%), Thiloa glaucocarpa (9%), and Sorghum halepense (4%) in cattle, Mimosa tenuiflora in cattle, sheep, and goats (38%), Brachiaria decumbens in sheep and cattle (38%), Manihot spp. in cattle and goats (28% ), and Leucaena leucocephala in sheep and horses (4%). Several plants previously unknown as toxic, but mentioned by the respondents as poisonous, were given to experimental animals at different doses. Only Casearia commersoniana was toxic to goats at the daily doses of 20g kg-1 body weight during 2-4 days. Clinical signs, similar to those reported by the farmers, were stiffness, mild bloat, polaquiuria, vocalization, jugular engorgement and pulsation, swaying gait, falling, spasticity, paddling movements, opisthotonos, and tachyicardia and dyspnea followed by bradycardia and bradypnea. Deaths occurred 6 and 19 hours after first clinical signs. No significant gross or histologic lesions were observed. It is concluded that poisonings by plants are important cause of losses in the region, which has a population of 53,473 bovines, 4,799 goats, 9,149 sheep, and 7,060 equidae.

Keywords : poisonous plants; plant poisoning; semiarid; Casearia commersoniana.

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