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February 2006

Sheep kidney: Hemoglobinuric tubular degeneration and necrosis, copper poisoning

Species/breed: 1 year old sheep, female, Norwegian white breed.

Organ: Kidney

History: The animal was taken in from pasture because of reduced appetite. On clinical examination, the temperature was 39.1 oC, the sheep was lethargic with greyish brown discolouration of mucosal surfaces, and marked hemoglobinuria.

Pathology: The carcass was pale, with a slightly brown discolouration. The kidneys were black. A considerable amount of hyaline casts were found in the lumen of the renal tubuli. The tubular epithelial cells contained a large number of hyaline droplets and hemosiderin granules (Berlin blue positive). The epithelium was degenerated. Copper was detected in the liver.

Diagnosis: Hemoglobinuric tubular degeneration and necrosis, copper poisoning.

Autopsy performed by: Randi Sørby (PhD-student).

Photo: Dr. Gjermund Gunnes.