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Suspected Pyrrolizidine Alkaloid Hepatotoxicosis in Wild Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombats (Lasiorhinus latifrons)

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Woolford, L., Fletcher, M. T. and Boardman, W. S. J. (2014) Suspected Pyrrolizidine Alkaloid Hepatotoxicosis in Wild Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombats (Lasiorhinus latifrons). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 62 (30). p. 7413. ISSN 0021-8561

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Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf405811n


Southern hairy-nosed wombats (Lasiorhinus latifrons) inhabiting degraded habitat in South Australia were recently identified with extensive hair loss and dermatitis and were in thin to emaciated body condition. Pathological and clinicopathological investigations on affected juvenile wombats identified a toxic hepatopathy suggestive of plants containing pyrrolizidine alkaloids, accompanied by photosensitive dermatitis. Hepatic disease was suspected in additional wombats on the basis of serum biochemical analysis. Preliminary toxicological analysis performed on scats and gastrointestinal contents from wombats found in this degraded habitat identified a number of toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids consistent with ingestion of Heliotropeum europaeum. Although unpalatable, ingestion may occur by young animals due to decreased availability of preferred forages in degraded habitats and the emergence of weeds around the time of weaning of naive animals. Habitat degradation leading to malnutrition and ingestion of toxic weed species is a significant welfare issue in this species.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Biosecurity Queensland
Subjects:Veterinary medicine > Veterinary toxicology
Veterinary medicine > Communicable diseases of animals (General)
Plant pests and diseases > Weeds, parasitic plants etc
Live Archive:25 Aug 2014 05:12
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:49

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