A non-selective inorganic herbicide for total vegetation control, used in areas that are not undergoing cultivation. Available commercially in the form of soluble powders, often in combination with atrazine and 2,4-D.

[affected.gif] Animals most affected
Dogs, cattle, sheep, (all animals).

[etiology.gif] Etiology
Accidental ingestion of the agrochemical product or consumption of treated vegetation. Sometimes used for criminal purposes (deliberate poisoning).

[toxic.gif] Toxicity
The compound causes methaemoglobinaea and has haemolytic properties. Not very toxic but extremely palatable, which can result in massive ingestion of the substance.

Oral doses in mg/kg:
LD50 rats 1200
LD cattle 1000
  sheep 2000
  horses 500
  dogs 200-2000
  dogs 300 for 5 days
  poultry 5000


[clinical.gif] Clinical features and lesions

Acute poisoning
(Occurring several hours post ingestion):

Subacute or chronic poisoning
Similar presentation to acute poisoning but with:

Necrotic effects identical to those observed in acute poisoning, with fatty degeneration of the liver and kidneys and splenomegaly.

[treatm~1.gif] Treatment


[labinv~1.gif] Laboratory investigations

Essential to have extremely fresh samples.

[case.gif] Case summary
Early one afternoon, the owner of a 3-year-old poodle noticed it being violently sick, vomiting up a sticky, dark brown substance. The condition of the dog then improved. On examination 3 hours later, however, the dog was comatosed, hypothermic (370C), with blanched, cyanosed mucosae. While setting up an infusion, the veterinary surgeon noted that the blood was coffee coloured. The dog died shortly afterwards from a pronounced cyanosis.
Two days later, whilst looking for his cat which was missing, the same owner found hidden in a hedge a plate containing a substance which was later identified by laboratory analysis as sodium chloride.