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Two 2- and 3-month-old beef calves from 2 separate herds, locations, and times were found dead and were submitted to the veterinary diagnostic laboratory for diagnostic work-up. In both cases, no premonitory signs were seen by the owners. Histopathology revealed acute panlobular hepatic necrosis in both calves. In addition, calf A had copper and selenium deficiency, and calf B had oxalate nephrosis, and selenium and zinc deficiencies. Alpha-amanitin was detected in the urine from calf A, and in the liver and rumen contents from calf B using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. The cause of panlobular hepatic necrosis and death of both calves was determined to be amanitin toxicosis from ingestion of amanitin-containing mushrooms based on microscopic changes and toxicological analysis of tissues. In cases of sudden death in cows with histopathological findings of panlobular hepatic necrosis, toxicological analysis for amanitin is needed for a definitive diagnosis of poisoning by amanitin-containing mushrooms.


Mok Mai Yee, Leslie W Woods, Robert H Poppenga, Birgit Puschner. Amanitin intoxication in two beef calves in California. Journal of veterinary diagnostic investigation : official publication of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, Inc. 2012 Jan;24(1):241-4

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PMID: 22362963

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