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Clinical findings, post mortem lesions and therapeutic management of lantana toxicity in ovines.


Lantana (Lantana camara) is one of the most poisonous weeds across the world. The noxious properties of the plant are well documented. It causes cholestasis, hepatotoxicity, photosensitization, and even fatality in cattle, horses, sheep, dogs and humans (Brito et al., 2004). However, despite its toxic effects, L. camara is extensively used in popular medicine because of its anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, antispasmodic and antibiotic properties (Sharma et al., 2007). Most of the cases of lantana poisoning occur in stock which is newly introduced in areas where toxic lantana is already growing. Older cattle that are used to grazing lantana infested areas are not as susceptible but young animals are most at risk.

Stocks bred on lantana-infested country tend to avoid it unless forced to eat it due to lack of food (Holm et al., 1979). In the Aravali range region of Pali district, Rajasthan, India it is widely available and animals are affected by ingestion. It is commonly known as 'Buti'. Its poisoning in animals has been documented from different parts of world including India (McSweeney and Pass, 1983). Animals in pastures with sufficient forage will often avoid lantana, but animals unfamiliar to plant may ingest enough (1% or more of animal's body weight) to affect them. Significant lantana toxins are the triterpene acids, lantadene-A (Rehmannic acid), lantadene-B and their reduced forms (Sharma et al., 1998).

Materials and Methods

15 sheep and lambs of 4 months--5 years of age with history of lantana ingestion were under taken for this study. The affected animals were belonged to villages of Pali district, Rajasthan and farmers contacted. We went to the sight of affected animals and on the basis of symptoms treated them.

Clinical Finding

Lantana poisoning in sheep is quite common and causes major economic losses. Early symptoms of lantana poisoning include depression, inappetence to anorexia, constipation and frequent urination, desiccation of faeces, lachrymal discharge, swelling of eye lids and base of ear with a pink nose (Fig.1). The rumen motility was nil after 2 days, muzzle become inflamed, started drying after 2nd day and very sensitive, slight decrease in urination with dark yellow colour, 3rd day animals revealed slight yellow mucous membranes and conjunctival mucous membranes were icteric in 80% cases. There were crakes on muzzle and sloughing of skin over ears and other part of body (Fig. 2 and 3). Photosensitization usually follows with death typically occurring 1-4 weeks after appearance of symptoms. Clinical infestations observed in present study are in agreement with those described earlier in natural and experimentally induced Lantana toxicity (Singh et al., 2003).


All the affected animals were treated with combined therapy comprising of Activated charcoal @ 5 gm [kg.sup.-1] body weight orally for 2 to 3 days, Magnesium sulphate @ 50 grams orally in luke warm water 2 times on alternate days, Liver tonic 20 ml orally and Inj. Belamyl (a) @ 3 ml intramuscular for 5 days, Inj. 5% DNS 500 ml intravenous for 3 days, Inj. Mifex (b) 50 ml intravenous once and Inj. Avil 2ml intramuscular for 3 days and one Ecotas (c) bolus orally given for 5 days. It was also suggested for keeping all affected sheep and lambs in dark place to avoid photosensitisation. Antidote to lantana toxicity is not available. Treatment generally done according to symptoms and have limited success (Sharma et al., 2007). Although activated charcoal has been described for treatment of Lantana toxicity in sheep (Pass and Stewart, 1984).

Post-mortem examination

The viscera following a surgical transaction through the neck and thoraco-abdominal areas revealed yellowish discoloration of tissues indicating jaundice hard, dry, mucus-covered faecal masses in large intestine, dry undigested plant material in the rumen (dusty ruminal contents), swollen and discoloured liver with a yellow-to orange tinge, highly enlarged gall bladder (Fig. 4), swollen and pale kidneys which turned olive-green in colour on exposure to air after cutting.

Results and Discussion

The timely presented 10 cases (2nd and 3rd day) revealed recovery after 5 days of treatment. The rumen motility was normal and increased water intake. Animals were taking grass and usual feeding. In late presented cases, animals died due to skin necrosis and secondary bacterial infection in skin. The charcoal absorbed the lantana toxins and purgatives helped to remove the toxic materials from gastrointestinal tract. The DNS and liver tonic helped to boost up the liver functions. Keeping the animals in dark place helped in detoxify the photosentising agents. The combined treatment also given to sheep comprised of liver tonic, anti-histaminic, rumentoric and dextrose (Kumar et al., 2009).


It was concluded from the study that lantana ingestion lead to gross rumen microbial inactivity in sheep and combined treatment comprising fluid therapy, activated charcoal, purgative, rumen rejuvenator and liver tonics was successful for improved fermentation activity of microbial population. It is imperative that farmers prevent the encroachment of this plant onto pasture land. In the presented case study there was a great abundance of Lantana on the farm and the farmer was advised to dig it out and burn it. This proved more cost effective than resorting to herbicidal methods.

KVASU and Kerala Forest Department signed MOU for Collaboration^

Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (KVASU) and Kerala Forest Department signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for collaboration in Wildlife welfare, education and research on 29th May', 2014 at University head quarters in Pookode, Wayanad.

The MOU is deemed to bringing forth experts from either side for mutual benefit and for benefit of wild life in the state. The collaboration would ensure mutual co-operation in training and research requirements, teaching of MS (Wildlife Studies) students and meeting training requirements of Forest Department, co-operation in mitigation of humanwildlife conflict for benefit of farmers and public, co-operation in wildlife forensics etc. The MoU was signed by Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden, Sri. G. Harikumar and Dr. B. Ashok, Vice Chancellor of KVASU.


The Authors are thankful to Dean, CVAS, Bikaner for providing facility and co-operation.


Brito, M.F., Tokarnia, C.H., Dobereiner, J. (2004). The toxicity of diverse lantanas for cattle and sheep in Brazil. Pesq. Vet. Bras 24:153-59.

Holm, L.G., Pacho, J.V., Herberger, J.P. and Plucknett, D.L. (1979). A geographical atlas of weeds. John Wiley, New York : 207.

Kumar, N.V., Reddy, Y.R and Reddy, A.R.M. (2009). Lantana poisoning in an organised sheep farm and its management. Intas Polivet 10: 71-72.

McSweeney, C.S. and Pass, M.A. (1983). The mechanism of rumen stasis in lantana poisoned sheep. Queensland J. Expt. Physiol. 68: 301-13.

Pass, M.A., Stewart, C. (1984). Administration of activated charcoal for the treatment of lantana poisoning of sheep and cattle. J. Appl. Toxicol. 4: 267-69.

Sharma, O.P., Makkar, H.P.S. and Dawra, R.K. (1998). A review of the noxious plant Lantana camara. Toxicol. 26: 975-87.

Sharma, O.P., Sharma, S., Pattabhi, V, Mahato, S.B., Sharma, P.D. (2007). A review of the hepatotoxic plant Lantana camara. Crit. Rev. Toxicol. 37: 313-52.

Singh, J.L., Prasad, S., Kumar, M. and Shukla, S.K. (2003). Clinico-biochemical profile and therapeutic management of Lantana toxicity in sheep herd. Indian J. Vet. Med. 23: 12-15.

Subhash Kachhawaha (1), Jaiprakash Kachhawa (2), Mukesh Srivastava (1), Bhanu Prakash Chadha (3) and Shweta K. (3)

Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Ethics and Jurisprudence

College of Veterinary and Animal Science

Rajasthan University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences

Bikaner--334001 (Rajasthan)

(1.) Ph.D. Scholar and Corresponding author e-mail:

(2.) Post Graduate Scholar

(3.) Veterinary Officers, Polyclinic, Department of Animal Husbandry, Jodhpur

(a)--Brand of Zydus Animal Health, Ahmedabad

(b)--Brand of Novartis Pharma, Ahmedabad

(c)--Brand of Intas Animal Health, Ahmedabad
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Clinical Article
Author:Kachhawaha, Subhash; Kachhawa, Jaiprakash; Srivastava, Mukesh; Chadha, Bhanu Prakash; K., Shweta
Publication:Intas Polivet
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jan 1, 2014
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