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Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research

On-line version ISSN 2219-0635
Print version ISSN 0030-2465

Onderstepoort j. vet. res. vol.75 n.2 Pretoria  2008




Acute and long-term effects of exposure to sodium monofluoroacetate (1080) in sheep



S.R. GooneratneI, II; C.T. EasonII, III; L. MilneII; D.G. ArthurIV; C. CookV; M. WickstromII, VI

ICell Biology Group, Agriculture and Life Sciences Division, P.O. Box 84, Lincoln University, Lincoln 7647, Canterbury, New Zealand
IICENTOX (Centre for Environmental Toxicology), Landcare Research, P.O. Box 69, Lincoln 7647, New Zealand
IIIBio-Protection and Ecology Division, Lincoln University/Te Whare Wanaka o Aoraki, P.O. Box 84, Lincoln University, Lincoln 7608, Canterbury, New Zealand
IVLabWorks Animal Health Ltd, P.O. Box 113, Lincoln University, New Zealand
VHort+Research, Ruakura Research Centre, Hamilton, New Zealand
VIWestern College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada




Acute and long-term effects of a single, relatively high oral dose (0.25 and 0.30 mg/kg) of sodium monofluoroacetate (1080) on the survival and productivity of sheep were evaluated to establish a better understanding of 1080 poisoning and identify more specific changes diagnostic of toxicosis.
In survivors, clinical signs of acute 1080 toxicosis such as salivation and lethargy were generally very mild. Fasted animals were more prone to 1080 toxicity. In animals that died, more severe signs, including tachypnoea, dyspnoea, and tremors occurred for 15-20 min prior to death. 1080 concentrations were highest in the blood > heart > skeletal muscle > liver. 1080 could not be detected in any of these organs of the animals that survived. Serum citrate concentrations were elevated for 4 days after dosing. No clinical or biochemical abnormalities were found in any animal after 4 days. Histopathological lesions were most marked in the heart and lung with inflammation, necrosis, and scattered foci of fibrous tissue in the myocardium, pulmonary oedema and inflammation of the lung. No adverse long-term effects on general health or reproductive performance were observed in any sheep that survived the first 4 days following exposure to 1080.
The most reliable diagnostic indicators of 1080 exposure in sheep were measurement of its residues in blood, skeletal muscle and ruminal contents, increased serum citrate concentration, elevated heart rate, and characteristic electrocardiograph changes (up to 4 days after exposure). Death from 1080 is most likely to occur within 96 h, and animals that survived this period appeared normal.

Keywords: Cardiotoxicity, sheep, sodium monofluoroacetate, vertebrate pest control



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Accepted for publication 14 April 2008-Editor

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