Poisoning with the plant Lasiospermum bipinnatum was studied in 9 lambs. Intraruminal doses, varying from 1-12 g/kg/day of dried plant, were administered to 8 animals and 1 was fed 2,5 g/kg/day of the material mixed with maize meal for 13 days. Periodic serum analyses were done to monitor liver function. Lambs given 6-12 g/kg/day died or were killed in extremis. Clinical signs included progressive anorexia and depression in all these lambs and icterus in 2 animals. Lambs given 1-4 g/kg/day were sacrificed after about 2 weeks. Clinical signs in these animals were minimal or absent. Hepatosis was found in all the lambs, the severity of which correlated with levels of plant administered. Centrilobular necrosis and haemorrhage occurred in 2 of the 4 lambs given high doses; single cell necrosis of hepatocytes was observed with intermediate doses, and diffuse degeneration, which was more severe peripherally, was seen at various doses. In 1 lamb, degeneration was most severe midzonally. Bile ductule epithelial proliferation was observed in 7 of the 9 poisoned animals. Marked hypertrophy of hepatocellular smooth endoplasmic reticulum was seen in 3 lambs given low doses. The hepatic lesions were compared with those reported for poisoning by other hepatotoxic plants belonging to the family Asteraceae and found to be indistinguishable.
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