Acute and chronic oxalate toxicity in Miniature Horses associated with soursob (Oxalis pes-caprae) ingestion

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Acute and chronic oxalate toxicity in Miniature Horses

associated with soursob (Oxalis pes-caprae) ingestion

Summary

Over the period of 11 years (2004–2015) 14 miniature horses in six separate outbreaks presented with clinical signs consistent with acute or chronic oxalate toxicity. All animals had access to Oxalis pes-caprae or soursob. Miniature horses with acute oxalate toxicity and hypocalcaemia had muscle fasciculations, tremors and synchronous diaphragmatic flutter; these horses responded to treatment with intravenous and oral calcium. Chronic oxalate toxicity was associated with ill-thrift, stiffness, enlarged heads, kyphosis and neurological signs. These animals had normal serum calcium concentrations, but increased serum alkaline phosphatase activity. Radiographs indicated that affected animals had bones that were osteopenic, often with pathological fractures. Bones that were examined histologically showed increased osteoclastic and osteoblastic activity, consistent with nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism and fibrous osteodystrophy. These animals were treated, with mixed success, with oral calcium supplementation. A palatability trial showed that horses will readily eat soursobs, and measured total oxalate concentrations in soursobs collected from five different properties ranged from 13.5 to 18.5%. The presentation of affected animals with either acute hypocalcaemia or nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism, together with a history of grazing soursobs, suggest that acute and chronic oxalate toxicity are the cause of the clinical signs seen in affected miniature horses.

 

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1111/eve.12605/full

 



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