Zinc Phosphide Intoxication in Three Horses: A Case Repor

Document Type : Case Report


1 Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran

2 Equine Veterinary Practitioner, Hamedan, Iran

3 Medicinal Plants and Natural Products Research Center, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamedan, Iran.

4 Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran


Three adult crossbred Thoroughbred horses died in June 2018 at a ranch near Hamedan, Iran. Rigor mortis was evident with no signs of post-mortem bloating in the carcasses. The neck muscles appeared excessively cyanotic in necropsy. In addition, widespread petechiae were observed on the inner surface of the thoracic intercostal muscles. Dropsy was visible in the inner surface of the abdominal wall and peritoneum. The stomach content was watery and dark gray. Furthermore, gastric mucosa was also gray. The livers had a dark appearance and the adjacent duodenum was gaseous and blackened. The kidneys showed autolysis with areas of medullary hyperemia. In addition to decomposition, a specific odor similar to the garlic aroma or natural gas could be smelled from the carcasses. Tissues and contents of various organs, as well as food and water samples, were collected for diagnostic tests. Preliminary toxicological studies showed detectable amounts of phosphide in the samples collected from gastric contents of the animals, and complementary tests confirmed the presence of zinc phosphide in the concentrate feed.


Article Title [Persian]

مسمومیت با فسفید روی در سه راس اسب: گزارش بالینی

Authors [Persian]

  • علی صادقی نسب 1
  • فرهاد مهرا 2
  • رضا سلگی 3
  • علیرضا نوریان 4
  • علی اصغر بهاری 1
1 گروه علوم درمانگاهی، دانشکدۀ پیرادامپزشکی، دانشگاه بوعلی سینا، همدان، ایران
2 دامپزشک، بخش خصوصی، همدان، ایران
3 مرکز تحقیقات گیاهان دارویی، دانشگاه علوم پزشکی همدان، همدان، ایران
4 گروه پاتوبیولوژی، دانشکدۀ پیرادامپزشکی، دانشگاه بوعلی سینا، همدان، ایران.
Abstract [Persian]

در تیرماه سال 1397 تعداد 3 راس اسب بالغ دو خون در محل یک دامداری در نزدیکی همدان تلف شدند. در بازرسی لاشه‌‌ها جمود نعشی رخ داده بود ولی نشانه‌ای از نفخ پس از مرگ مشاهده نشد. در کالبدگشایی، عضلات ناحیه گردن لاشه‌ها پرخونی سیاه‌رنگی را نشان می‌داد. به علاوه، در عضلات بین دنده‌ای در سطح داخلی قفسه‌سینه نیز نقاط خونریزی سرسوزنی فراوان ادم در سطح داخلی دیواره شکم و پرده صفاقی وجود داشت. محتویات معده هر سه اسب به شدت آبکی و مخاط آن‌ها به رنگ خاکستری بود. کبدها به وضوح سیاه رنگ بودند و دوازدهه در مجاورت کبد پر گاز و به شدت سیاه رنگ شده بود. کلیه‌ها تا حدی اتولیز را نشان می‌دادند و در بعضی نقاط آن‌ها اندکی پرخونی مرکزی مشاهده شد. علاوه بر بوی ناشی از فساد، بوی خاصی شبیه به بوی سیر یا گاز شهری از لاشه‌ها استشمام می‌شد. نمونه‌های بافتی و محتویات چند عضو برای آزمایش‌های تشخیصی جمع آوری شدند. بررسی‌های اولیه سم‌شناسی مقادیر قابل شناسایی فسفین را در نمونه‌های محتویات معده حیوانات تلف شده نشان داد و آزمایشات تکمیلی، نوع سم موجود در کنسانتره این اسب‌ها را فسفید روی تایید کرد.

Keywords [Persian]

  • تک‌سمی هیستوپاتولوژی
  • فسفین
  • سم
  • جونده‌کش



Case History

On June 28, 2018, the sudden death of three 8-year-old crossbred Thoroughbred horses, including two mares and one stallion was reported from a barn at Qerkhler, a village in Hamedan, Iran. The animals were necropsied and thoroughly examined by a large animal internal medicine specialist shortly after the notification call. According to the farm owner's declaration and based on the daily inspections of the farm guard, the animals had probably died during the previous evening.


Clinical Presentations

The dead horses were laid on the left lateral sides with no signs of post-mortem bloating. No signs of trauma, contusion, subcutaneous inflammation, and emphysema were observed or palpated. Complete rigor mortis was reversing with the loosening of the proximal part of the neck. There was no bleeding and/or fluid discharge from the natural orifices. The ocular conjunctivas were hyperemic and edematous. Moreover, the neck muscles appeared cyanotic with obvious venous congestion. The inner surface of the abdominal wall and parietal peritoneum were edematous. Furthermore, hypostasis was evident on the left side of all the internal organs in all carcasses. In addition to the odor caused by the decomposition of the carcasses, a specific odor similar to the smell of natural gas or fresh garlic was noticeable.

Although the lungs were normal in size, numerous spots of pinpoint petechial hemo-rrhage were observed on the neighboring inner surface of the inter-costal muscles. Black gray discolorations were found in the tracheal mucosa. Hearts were normal in terms of size and texture. However, the superficial veins of the hearts were congested along with the imbibition of blood into the surrounding myocardial tissues. The heart muscles were hyperemic with the ventricles containing dark unclotted blood with blood imbibition of the endocardium (Figure 1). The medulla of moderately autolyzed kidneys was slightly hyperemic.