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Suspected poisoning of a goat by giant hogweed
  1. AH Andrews,
  2. CJ Giles and
  3. LR Thomsett


A five-year-old male African pygmy goat became ill four weeks after transfer from a zoological garden to a municipal park. The animal was subdued, refused to eat and drink and showed profuse salivation. Examination of the mouth revealed severe ulceration. The condition gradually responded to nursing and supportive therapy. Circumstantial evidence suggested the possibility that the lesions were caused by giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum). Supportive evidence that the plant could produce lesions was provided by the application of a cut stem to the hard palate and a solution of various dilutions to clipped areas of the backs of two ewes. Both ewes produced reddened skin when the concentrated solution was applied and both showed marked reddening of the gingival mucosae and in one animal small ulcers developed in the rostral part of the mouth. It is suggested that H mantegazzianum may be a potential hazard for grazing ruminants.

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