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Pol J Vet Sci. 2007;10(1):51-6.

Haemolytic crisis in sheep as a result of chronic exposure to copper.

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  • 1Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Department of Preclinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Warsaw Agricultural University, Ciszewskiego 8, 02-786 Warszawa, Poland. martamendel@hotmail.com


Usually practicing veterinarians and animal keepers have to deal with inadequate supplementation of copper which causes deficiency diseases. However, instead of curing, the consequential intake of copper is likely to cause copper intoxication. Copper poisoning is observed particularly frequently, in sheep--the most sensitive domestic animal to copper toxicity. In most cases, sheep undergo chronic exposure to copper causing liver necrosis and resulting in massive haemolysis, haemoglobinuria and eventually in renal failure. The observed symptoms have an acute character and a set of them is called haemolytic crisis. The pathogenesis, signs and diagnosis of this syndrome are described in this article.

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