Effect of feeding milk from goats fed tansy ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) to rats and calves.

D. E. Goeger, P. R. Cheeke, J. A. Schmitz, D. R. Buhler

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27 Scopus citations


Dried tansy ragwort, which contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA), was fed to lactating dairy goats. Milk containing 7.5 ng of PA/g (dry weight basis) from these goats was fed to rats and calves. Rats fed a goats' milk diet for 180 days with a calculated total PA intake of 0.96 mg/rat had swollen hepatocytes of centrilobular distribution, and biliary hyperplasia, indicating PA involvement. Rats fed tansy ragwort at dietary levels of 1%, 0.1%, 0.01% and 0.001% (corresponding to PA intakes of 39.77, 5.04, 0.52, and 0.05 mg/rat) showed swollen hepatocytes, megalocytosis, biliary hyperplasia, and fibrosis. The histopathologic changes in the milk-fed rats and those given 0.001% tansy ragwort in the diet were similar. Definitive changes in 2 calves fed goats' milk were not detected. The results with rats indicate that PA are transferred in goats' milk and may produce hepatoxic effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1631-1633
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican journal of veterinary research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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