Brassica napus (rapeseed, summer rape, colza, coleseed, cole, canola, kale). A member of the plant family CRUCIFERAE (BRASSICA). Annual or biennial erect, herbaceous plant with bright yellow flowers and pod-like fruit. Plants of all the Brassica species cause several syndromes including haemolytic anaemia, blindness, pulmonary emphysema and digestive disturbances, which may occur separately or in combination.


[affected.gif] Animals most affected
Cattle, (horses, sheep, goats).


[etiology.gif] Etiology
Massive frequent or continuous ingestion of the plant or of silage based on rape (this silage, however, is not often made as it is difficult to store).


[toxic.gif] Toxicity
The plant is most toxic when in flower. Contains sulphur-based heterosides (thiocosides): gluconapine and progoitrine, which when hydrolysed yield isothiocyanates (mustard oil) and goitrine. The toxic compounds are irritant, haemolytic, goitrogenic and cause malnutrition.
The haemolytic factor is S-methyl cysteine sulphoxide which is metabolized converted to dimethyl sulphoxide by ruminal bacteria. Poisoning may also be induced by an excess of nitrates (growing on soils overfertilized or overenriched with nitrate), ingestion of the plants causing acute or peracute ammoniaemia (particularly in cold weather, during periods of drought or general water shortage).

Characteristic features of poisoning


[clinical.gif] Clinical features



[lesions.gif] Lesions


[treatm~1.gif] Treatment
No antidote. Symptomatic care only:

Poisoning by ammonia (poisoning through excessive nitrogen intake)


[clinical.gif] Clinical features


[lesions.gif] Lesions
Degeneration and necrosis of the liver.


[treatm~1.gif] Treatment
No specific antidote. Symptomatic care only:


Prophylactic measures:

Poisoning through ingestion of silage


The incidence of poisoning is rare.


[clinical.gif] Clinical features


[lesions.gif] Lesions
Non-specific: gastroenteritis.


[treatm~1.gif] Treatment
No specific antidote. Symptomatic care only.