Pteronia pallens- witbossie, Scholtz-bossie
By Dr Mackie Hobson BSc(Agric),BVSc

Wednesday, 14th December 2022

The poisoning has not been reported in Angora goats but outbreaks have occurred in sheep in the Karoo.


What does witbossie look like?

A woody shrub 0.6m high. Grey-white stems with narrow opposite arranged leaves 10-30mm long. It flowers mostly October Found on rocky ridges but also on flats.



When does poisoning occur?

Poisoning usually during droughts when forced to eat or newley introduced sheep. Experimentally 300g of the plant caused death in 30 hours without clinical signs.


Clinical signs?

Can be found dead without signs but some sheep apathy, anorexia, ruminal stasis and mild icterus has been seen.


Findings on Post Mortem?

  • Cyanosis
  • Congestion of lungs
  • Hepatomegaly, liver light brown to dark red with a mosaic appearance
  • Mild icterus
  • Ascites, hydrothorax

Ref: Plant poisonings and mycotoxicoses of livestock in southern Africa, Kellerman, Coetzee, Naude

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