Between 1995 and 1999 several cattle of a group of 80 heifers died acutely on a pasture in the Swiss Alps. The animals were found dead between July 9th and 15th each year. Only 1 animal was examined on post-mortem, and no significant lesions were found. Aconitum vulpera, A napellus, and Delphinium elatum were identified in the pasture. The presence of diterpenoid alkaloid-containing plants in the pasture, the rapid death of the animals, and the lack of pathologic lesions suggested diterpenoid alkaloid toxicosis as a cause of death. A multiresidue alkaloid screen using gas chromatography with a mass spectrometric detector was employed on rumen, abomasal, small intestine, and cecal contents from the I heifer. Deltaline, deltamine, and lycoctonine were identified. Aconitine was found in all gastrointestinal samples using a sensitive and highly specific liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry methodology for aconitine analysis. The findings of diterpenoid alkaloids in the gastrointestinal contents confirmed exposure to Delphinium and Aconitum spp, possibly resulting in sudden death.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||3|
|Journal||Veterinary and Human Toxicology|
|State||Published - 2002|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis