Apr 1, 1978

Chronic methylmercurialism in the cat

Australian Veterinary Journal
T A GruberA A Seawright


The mercury levels in 69 muscle samples from fish weighing from 0.3 to 200 kg caught in Moreton Bay, Queensland, in the latter half of 1976 ranged from less than 10 to 2,030 ng/g. Mercury levels in blood samples from 53 humans and 100 dogs in Brisbane almost all contained less than 10 ng/ml while the level in 162 cats sampled ranged from less than 10 to 329 ng/ml. Chronic methylmercurialism developed in 2 cats dosed daily with methylmercury, bound to cysteine, at the rate of 0.6 mg/kg body weight for 74 and 77 days respectively. Terminal clinical signs included anorexia, weight loss, knuckling over at the carpus and tarsus, hypermetria initially involving the forelegs and later the hindlegs, sluggish reflexes, paresis involving all limbs, persistent crying, apparent blindness, tonic and clonic convulsions and salivation. Pathological changes were confined to the nervous system and included degeneration of neurones and perivascular cuffing in the cerebrocortical grey matter, focal atrophy of the granular layer, focal spongiosus of the molecular layer and degeneration and loss of Purkinje cells in the cerebellum and demyelination in the fibre tracts of the dorsal funiculus, mainly the fasciculus cuneatus and in the lateral and ve...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Examination of Reflexes
Dorsal Funiculus
Abnormal Degeneration
Cuneate Fasciculus of Spinal Cord
Ankle Joint Structure
Entire Nervous System

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