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HCN Poisoning in Buffalo Heifer

1) Case History

Buffalo heifer escaped from animal house and grazed adlibitum on young/immature Jowar (Sorghum spp.) field. After 1-2 hours, animal started to show clinical signs of restlessness, staggering gait, muscular tremors, recumbency, bloat and respiratory distress. Animal died on the spot before getting treatment. The local veterinarian presented fresh carcass for postmortem.

2) Gross Postmortem Lesions

  
Fig.1: Fresh carcass with fully distended abdomen or bloat.Fig.2: Dark red/pinkish conjunctiva and blackish scleral discoloration.
  
Fig.3: Fresh carcass with severe bloat.Fig.4: Rhomboid shaped multiple areas of congestion or hemorrhages on ruminal serosa/fascia.
  
Fig.5: Rhomboid shaped multiple areas of congestion or hemorrhages on ruminal serosa/fascia.Fig.6: Rhomboid shaped multiple areas of congestion or hemorrhages on ruminal serosa/fascia.
  
Fig.7: Note the presence of abundant fresh green ruminal content. The typical bitter almond odour of gas/ruminal content noticed after opening the rumen.Fig.8: Note the presence of abundant fresh green ruminal content along with froth/gas. The typical bitter almond odour of gas/ruminal content noticed after opening the rumen.
  
Fig.9: Grossly liver felt heavy weighted and congested along with few pale areas.
Fig.10: The cut opened portion of Liver/Lung showing severe congestion along with bright cherry red unclotted blood oozing out.
  
Fig.11: Omasum showing presence of fresh green content.Fig.12: Reticulum showing presence of fresh fluid containing green content.
  
Fig.13: Abomasal mucosa showing severe congestion leading to dark red/pinkish discoloration.Fig.14: Note the severe congestion of abomasal mucosa leading to dark red/pinkish discoloration.
  
Fig.15: Note the severe congestion of abomasal mucosa leading to dark red/pinkish discoloration.Fig.16: Intestinal serosa showing congestion.
  
Fig.17: Severe congestion of duodenal mucosa causing dark red/pinkish discoloration.Fig.18: Heart chambers containing dark cherry/bright red colored unclotted blood.

3) Laboratory Findings

The ruminal content from affected animal subjected for Sodium Picrate Paper Test found positive for presence of HCN/hydrocyanic acid.

4) Diagnosis

The history, clinical signs, postmortem lesions and laboratory findings confirms the HCN toxicity or death of animal due to cyanogenic plant poisoning.