Experimental solanum incanum l poisoning in sheep and goats
Solanum incanum L. is a shrub found in many areas of Kenya. The toxicity of ripe Solanum incanum L fruits has been carried out in sheep and goats with no effect. However, unripe fruits are more abundant and goats and sheep may be more easily attracted to eat unripe fruits. The toxicity of such unripe fruits of Solanum incanum L has not been tested in sheep and goats. This study was, thus, undertaken to find out the toxic effects of unripe fruits of Solanum incanum L in goats and sheep. Powdered unripe fruits of S. incanum L were used to determine the LD50 and the toxic effects. Toxicity was determined by drenching the animals with the powder suspended in water in three doses; Group1 (0.25 LD50), Group 2 (0.5 LD50) and group 3 (0.75 LD50) and observing for clinical signs and haematological, biochemical, necropsy and histopathological findings. The LD50 was 4.8g and 3.0g/kg body weight in sheep and goats, respectively. In group 3: one goat had diarrhoea from day 3 until death at day 14. One other goat died on day 15 of the experiment after showing signs of coughing, anorexia, depression with the head held low, staggering gait and continuous bleating while one goat survived to the end of the experiment without signs of toxicity. One group 2 goat had bloat, shivering, progressive weakness, depression, staggering gait, lateral recumbency, leg paddling movements and continuous bleating before death on day 24 of the experiment while three others did not show clinical signs. All group 1 goats did not show clinical signs. All the group 3 sheep (0.75 LD50) showed signs of bloat, depression, coughing and anorexia. One group 3, three group 2 and one group 1 sheep, respectively, also showed colic, staggering - xvi - gait, lateral recumbency, leg paddling movements, coma and death. The group 3 sheep died on days 2, 3, 4 and 13 of the experiment while group 2 died on days 4, 14, and 42, respectively. One group 1 sheep died on day 29 while the rest survived to the end. These clinical manifestations were significantly different between goats and sheep. Haematological and biochemical findings were also significantly different in terms of total protein, PCV and AP. On gross pathology, group 3 goats (0.75 LD50) showed hydroperitoneum and hydropericardium, which were absent in sheep. In group 2 (0.5 LD50), goats had fibrinous pericarditis and hydroperitoneum while sheep in group 2 (0.5 LD50) showed pneumonia, lung emphysema and haemorrhagic enteritis. In group 1 (0.25 LD50), sheep showed emaciation, hydroperitoneum, lung emphysema and pneumonia, while the goats in group 1(0.25 LD50) had no lesions. On histopathology, the lungs had congestion and interstitial pneumonia in both species but sheep in addition showed emphysema, oedema and proliferation of alveolar epithelium. The brain in goats had microthrombi, marked wallerian degeneration of neurons and necrosis of Purkinje cells in the high and medium dose groups (group 2 and 3) while in group 1 there was congestion. The sheep brain showed widespread haemorrhage, slight necrosis of Purkinje cells and chromatolysis of neurons in groups 2 and 3 while the group 1 had marked haemorrhage and necrosis and loss of Purkinje cells, which were absent in goats. The liver showed centrilobular necrosis but in addition sheep had proliferation of bile ducts. In conclusion the study shows that the plant is more toxic to sheep than to goats and that there were marked differences in the clinicopathological manifestations of the toxic effects in the two - xvii - animal species. Since there was less toxic effect in goats, it may seem that goats have a way of reducing the toxic effects of unripe fruits of solanium incanum L.