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Organophosphate Toxicosis

Organophosphate poisoning results from poultry exposure to organophosphates (OPs). Organophosphorus and carbamate compounds are used throughout the world as insecticides, herbicides, nematocides, acaricides, fungicides, rodenticides, avicides, and bird repellants. OPs induce poisoning in mammals and avian species by irreversible inhibition of cholinesterase (ChE) activity at the nerve terminals and neuromuscular junctions causing accumulation of acetylcholine.

The acute (24 h) oral median lethal doses (LD50) of chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and dichlorvos in chicks are 10.79 mg/kg, 6.32 mg/kg, and 6.30 mg/kg, respectively. Colored breeds of chicken are more more susceptible than white breeds to coumaphos, and naphthaphos has a narrow safety range for chickens.

Symptoms

Salivation
Gasping
Frequent defecation
Diarrhea
Blindness
Dilated pupils
Protrusion of eyes
Incoordination
Muscular weakness
Lethargy
Excess thirst
Slight paralysis
Bleeding from the nares
Convulsions
Recumbency

Diagnosis

  • History of exposure
  • Clinical signs
  • Organophosphate/Carbamate toxicology
  • Necropsy

Treatment

MethodDetails
Supportive careIsolate the bird from the flock and place in a safe, comfortable, warm location (your own chicken "intensive care unit") with easy access to water and food. Limit stress. Call your veterinarian.
Atropine sulfateThe standard antidote usually combined with oximes for the treatment of OP poisoning

Prevention

Scientific References

Also Consider