A review of episodes of zinc phosphide toxicosis in wild geese (Branta spp.) in Oregon (2004-2011).

TitleA review of episodes of zinc phosphide toxicosis in wild geese (Branta spp.) in Oregon (2004-2011).
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsBildfell RJ, Rumbeiha WK, Schuler KL, Meteyer CU, Wolff PL, Gillin CM
JournalJournal of veterinary diagnostic investigation : official publication of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, Inc
Volume25
Issue1
Pagination162-7
Date Published2013 Jan
ISSN1943-4936
KeywordsAnimals, Bird Diseases, Disease Outbreaks, Geese, Histocytochemistry, Oregon, Phosphines, Rodenticides, Toxicity Tests, Zinc Compounds
Abstract

Epizootic mortality in several geese species, including cackling geese (Branta hutchinsii) and Canada geese (Branta canadensis), has been recognized in the Willamette Valley of Oregon for over a decade. Birds are generally found dead on a body of water or are occasionally observed displaying neurologic clinical signs such as an inability to raise or control the head prior to death. Investigation of these epizootic mortality events has revealed the etiology to be accidental poisoning with the rodenticide zinc phosphide (Zn(3)P(2)). Gross and histologic changes are restricted to acute pulmonary congestion and edema, sometimes accompanied by distension of the upper alimentary tract by fresh grass. Geese are unusually susceptible to this pesticide; when combined with an epidemiologic confluence of depredation of specific agricultural crops by rodents and seasonal avian migration pathways, epizootic toxicosis may occur. Diagnosis requires a high index of suspicion, appropriate sample collection and handling, plus specific test calibration for this toxicant. Interagency cooperation, education of farmers regarding pesticide use, and enforcement of regulations has been successful in greatly decreasing these mortality events since 2009.

DOI10.1177/1040638712472499
Alternate JournalJ. Vet. Diagn. Invest.