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Dermatitis due to lantana toxicity and its management--a report of eight cattle.


Lantana camara also known as Spanish flag or West Indian Lantana, is a species of flowering plant that became an ornamental plant in tropical and warm regions worldwide including India. The weed has become common plantation in wild and along footpaths, deserted fields and farms. Accidental consumption of this plant causes several ill effects in ruminants including hepatitis and photosensitisation reactions (Lonare et al., 2012). The present paper discusses dermatological aspects associated with ingestion of Lantana plant and its management in cattle.

Materials and Methods

The present study was carried out among 8 Jersey crossbred cattle, which had accidentally consumed Lantana plant. It was reported that cattle were presenting various types of skin lesions from a couple of days and lesions were similar among all cattle. Skin scrapings, blood and serum were collected to rule out any systemic involvement. Rumen liquor was also collected by rumenocentesis. Close clinical observation and anamnesis revealed that cattle had consumed Lantana weed a week ago. Based on history and specific dermatitis lesions, the cause for photosensitisation reaction was identified as lantana poisoning and managed successfully with parentral fluid therapy, hepatoprotective, anti inflammatory and topical peperations.

Results and Discussion

In the present study, the typical manifestations noticed among almost all affected cattle included dullness, partial to complete loss of appetite, constipation, followed by diarrhoea, conjunctivitis, epiphora, corneal opacity (Fig. 1), photosensitization reaction associated dermatitis with loss of hair, fissures with sloughing of skin at neck and brisket (Fig. 2), perineal region, entire length of tail, thighs and hind limbs (Fig. 3), face (Fig. 4) which were oozing with serum and blood. Few were also presented with signs of jaundice, such as icteric visible mucosa (Fig. 5). Skin scrapping evaluation could not reveal any ectoparasites of pathological importance. Rumen liquor examination demonstrated viscous, dark green coloured cud with alkaline pH (8.4) and inactive (dead) protozoa. Hematologically, significantly decreased Hb, PCV and TEC with increased TLC were noticed (6.62g/dl, 20.6%, 6.22 x [10.sup.6]/ml and 6590.7/ml). Whereas, significantly increased AST (112u/l), ALT (48u/l), ALP (129u/l), BUN (39mg/ dl) and serum creatinine (2.1mg/dl) with decreased total protein (4.1g/dl) and albumin (2.4g/dl) were the biochemical alterations recorded in photosensitized cattle.

Lantana camara, a noxious weed grows in many tropical and sub tropical parts of the world forms a major threat for grazing animals, as its ingestion causes intrahepatic cholestatis and associated liver damage (Anita and Bright, 2012). The hepato toxins are penta cyclic triterpenoids called lantadenes. Both ruminants (cattle, buffalo, sheep and goats) and non ruminant animals like horses and rabbits are susceptible to hepato-toxic action of lantana toxins (Sharma et al., 2011). The most important toxic principle of Lantana camara is lantadene-A present in leaves, stems, flowers and berries, has been shown to cause injury to the bile canalicular membranes with subsequent cholestasis and hepatocellular damage (Julio et al., 2008). Ingestion of plant by cattle and sheep results in secondary photosensitivity, icterus and constipation or in some cases, diarrhoea (Eduardo et al., 2005). Grazing on lantana during scarcity of green fodder is common cause of lantana poisoning in sheep, goats, cattle and buffaloes (Bharadwaj et al., 2012). Clinical signs noticed in present study were in accordance with Rivero et al. (2011) and Ali et al. (1995); (constipation, anorexia, jaundice, photosensitization, progressive weakness), Sharma et al. (2011); (depression, anorexia, constipation, jaundice, photosensitization and rumen stasis) and Hussain and Roychoudhury (1992) (hepatic insufficiency, yellow urination, ruminal stasis). The principle post-mortem findings were jaundice, yellowish gelatinous subcutaneous edema, swollen liver with ocher or orange coloration and light brown kidney (Sharma et al., 2007). Hematobiochemical alterations noticed in present study were in agreement with Erlanio and Jose (2012), who opined that elevated levels of ALT, AST and ALP suggestive of hepatic insufficiency and intra hepatic cholistasis leading to jaundice in effected animals. Whereas, increased levels of BUN and creatinine in the present cases is suggestive of functional impairment of kidneys, secondary to toxins absorbed from lantana weed.

If the animal eats sufficient quantities of plant, photosensitisation sets in with liver damage and accumulation of phylloerythrin in blood, which sensitises animal's skin to ultra-violet light. The sensitive areas of skin most severely affected include nasal, facial areas, back and perineal regions and when skin peels away a reddish inflamed area is left. The condition also causes marked inflammation in eyes. Lantana poisoning affected cattle may suffer with obstructive jaundice and photosensitisation, with a rise in serum AST and ALT activity and renal xanthine oxidase activity which is manifested as elevated BUN and creatinine levels (Sharma et al., 2007). The therapeutic regimen followed in the present study i.e., fluids, hepato-protective and anti inflamatory agents along with topical smoothening agents found to be efficacious in successfully alleviating clinical manifestations and lesions associated with lantana toxicity. Various therapeutic regimens viz. 20% glucose saline, antihistamines, liver extract, activated charcoal, liquid paraffin and antipruritic ointment successfully managed the poisoning (Singh et al., 2003) and single dose of activated charcoal (5 g/kg) along with dextrose (25%), twice daily for 5 days and Vitamin B complex with liver extract on alternate days on 5 occasions (Ali et al., 1996) were suggested by several authors. Though, activated charcoal has been described for treatment of Lantana toxicity in ruminants, it may be effective before the poison is absorbed (Thiruselvane and Thamodaran, 2011). In present study as the animals had consumed the plant a week ago and photosensitization dermatitis has already setup, charcoal was not administered and hence alternatively supportive symptomatic protocol was instituted and managed successfully.


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K. Srikanth and K. Satish Kumar

Department of Veterinary Medicine College of Veterinary Science Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University Rajendranagar Hyderabad--500030 (Andhra Pradesh)

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Title Annotation:Clinical Article
Author:Srikanth, K.; Kumar, K. Satish
Publication:Intas Polivet
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jul 1, 2013
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