Metternichia princeps, had been shown responsible for deaths of goats on a farm in Itaguaí county, state of Rio de Janeiro. Its toxicity was proved by experiments in goats and rabbits. In the present study sheep and cattle were shown also to be sensitive to poisoning by the leaves of M. princeps. The lowest lethal dose was 10g/kg for sheep, and 20g/kg for cattle. The clinical signs of the poisoning were little specific. The course of the experimental poisoning varied from 6h4min to 99h in sheep, and from 4h46min to 75h30min in cattle. The most important findings at postmortem examination in the experimental animals were excessive cavitary fluid accumulation and edemas, especially of the perirenal tissue (present in 4 of 6 sheep, and in 2 of 3 cattle). The most important microscopic lesion was coagulative necrosis of the uriniferous tubules in the renal cortex (found in 8 of 9 cattle, except in one in which the course of poisoning was very short, but in all 6 sheep). In 5 of 6 sheep a diffuse swelling of the hepatocytes was found, a change not seen in cattle.
Poisonous plants; Metternichia princeps; Solanaceae; plant poisoning; cattle; sheep