Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

Young ovine death during hyperimmunization: crotalic envenomation or copper toxicosis?

Ferreira Junior, RSNascimento, NCouto, RAlves, JBMeira, DABarraviera, B

The unfavorable evolution of a young ovine during hyperimmunization process with Crotalus durissus terrificus venom was investigated in order to differentiate its origin between ophidic envenomation and copper toxicosis. Clinical, laboratory, necroscopic and histological exams as well as evaluation and measurement of heavy metals (copper) in the kidneys and in the liver were carried out. Blood counts revealed anemia and serological tests showed high levels of blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, aspartate aminotransferase, creatine phosphokinase, total bilirubin and indirect bilirubin; which indicates liver, kidney and skeletal muscle damages. At necropsy, the animal presented hepatopathy and nephropathy. Histological examination revealed renal and hepatic features that may imply copper intoxication. Copper levels were 237.8 µg/g in the liver and 51.2 µg/g in the kidneys. Although the amount of metal found in both organs was below the level that can cause death, according to the literature, anatomopathological signs were suggestive of copper intoxication. Therefore, the hypothesis of metal toxicosis during the hyperimmunization process became more consistent than the crotalic envenomation one.

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