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Nutritional Hepatic Necrosis in Beef Cattle “Sawdust Liver”

Todd, Glen C., Krook, Lennart
Hereford, animal pathology, beef cattle, diet, disease diagnosis, heart, histology, hypoxia, kidneys, liver, necrosis, polyunsaturated fatty acids, pylorus, sawdust, selenium, steers, vitamin E
A histologic examination of spontaneous cases of sawdust livers in cattle indicated that the focal liver necrosis was an expression of vitamin E-selenium deficiency. The condition was reproduced in Hereford steers by feeding a diet rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and poor in protein, vitamin E. and selenium. Lesions also occurred in the kidney, heart, skeletal muscled and pylorus. Addition of dictary protein or injection of selenium partially prevented the condition. Cellular anoxia with formation of hyalinc bodies in the liver and kidney was considered to be the common denominator of the degenerative changes. Due to the relatively mild tissue changes, plasma GOT and OCT determinations were found to be of no diagnostic value.