Diazinon Toxicosis in Geese
ABSTRACT On a goose farm with 7600 geese kept in 6 houses, 730 birds in 2 houses died within a single day. After drink-ing, a certain proportion of geese in the affected houses exhibited trembling, salivation, lachrymation and respiratory dis-tress followed by convulsions, dullness and prostration. The birds died soon after the onset of clinical signs. Postmortem examination revealed the presence of a large volume of watery content in the crop. The mucous membrane of the intesti-nal tract and the parenchymal organs were hyperaemic. Histopathological examination demonstrated the signs of circula-tory disturbances in the inner organs. Water samples showing milk-like whitish discolouration, taken from the watering troughs of the two affected houses, were assayed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and found to con-tain diazinon in concentrations of 807 and 582 mg/l, respectively. In the oesophageal content of the dead geese GC-MS demonstrated diazinon in concentrations of 22.1 and 9.3 mg/kg, respectively. On the basis of these results the diagnosis of poisoning caused by the organophosphate insecticide diazinon was established. The suspicion of accidental or intentional contamination of the drinking water with a diazinon-containing product has arisen, but attempts to identify the diazinon-containing product responsible for the toxicosis were unsuccessful.
Article: Diazinon toxicity in broilers.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Ten 3-day-old chicks were submitted from a flock experiencing high mortality. Necropsy revealed lacrimation, diarrhea, pleural effusion, hemorrhage and ulceration of the proventriculus, and swollen, hemorrhagic livers. Numerous yellow granules were present in the crop. Assayed crop contents contained 39 ppm diazinon [O,O-diethyl O-(2-isopropyl-4-methyl-6-pyrimidyl)phosphorothioate]. The insecticide had been applied to the litter to control fire ants. The high mortality abated after new litter was added on top of the old litter. Diazinon toxicosis was traced to ingestion of diazinon-impregnated granules and was reproduced experimentally.Avian Diseases 38(2):393-6. · 1.73 Impact Factor
- The Canadian veterinary journal. La revue veterinaire canadienne 10/1991; 32(10):627. · 0.77 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Diazinon has been registered for the control of insect pests on turf since the early 70s in Canada. Its use increased in 1986 when the use of chlordane was suspended. One of the main insect pests against which diazinon is currently used is the black turf grass ataenious or black fairway beetle (Ataenious spretulus). This insect is a newly introduced beetle with a seven year life cycle and appears to have become a widespread problem of golf courses by 1987. The insect feeds on the turf thatch and is controllable if treatment is applied while it is in its first or second instar and the insecticide is washed into the thatch. Treatment with diazinon or chlorpyrifos has been recommended on the basis of the U.S. experience with this pest. No insecticide is currently registered for this specific pest in Canada. Since the introduction of diazinon, sporadic mortality of waterfowl feeding on treated turf or on orchard grass has come to light in Canada. This paper is a report of incidents which took place in Ontario between 1986 and 1988 with an in-depth study of a case in 1987.Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 07/1991; 46(6):852-8. · 1.11 Impact Factor
The Open Toxinology Journal, 2008, 1, 5-8 5
1875-4147/08 2008 Bentham Open
Diazinon Toxicosis in Geese
Béla Fazekas*,1, Éva Ivanics1, István Hajtós2 and Róbert Glávits1
1Central Agricultural Office, Veterinary Diagnostic Directorate, Budapest, Hungary
2Agricultural Office of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County, Food Safety and Animal Health Directorate, Miskolc, Hungary
Abstract: On a goose farm with 7600 geese kept in 6 houses, 730 birds in 2 houses died within a single day. After drink-
ing, a certain proportion of geese in the affected houses exhibited trembling, salivation, lachrymation and respiratory dis-
tress followed by convulsions, dullness and prostration. The birds died soon after the onset of clinical signs. Postmortem
examination revealed the presence of a large volume of watery content in the crop. The mucous membrane of the intesti-
nal tract and the parenchymal organs were hyperaemic. Histopathological examination demonstrated the signs of circula-
tory disturbances in the inner organs. Water samples showing milk-like whitish discolouration, taken from the watering
troughs of the two affected houses, were assayed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and found to con-
tain diazinon in concentrations of 807 and 582 mg/l, respectively. In the oesophageal content of the dead geese GC-MS
demonstrated diazinon in concentrations of 22.1 and 9.3 mg/kg, respectively. On the basis of these results the diagnosis of
poisoning caused by the organophosphate insecticide diazinon was established. The suspicion of accidental or intentional
contamination of the drinking water with a diazinon-containing product has arisen, but attempts to identify the diazinon-
containing product responsible for the toxicosis were unsuccessful.
Keywords: Diazinon, organophosphate, pesticide, goose, toxicosis, poisoning.
pound. Organophosphates are long known and widely ap-
plied active ingredients of different insecticides used in the
plant protection practice. In animal production these com-
pounds are used to control a variety of ectoparasites such as
mites and lice. In the living organism, organophosphates
inhibit the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, causing an accumu-
lation of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in im-
pulse transmission, and leading to an over-stimulation of the
parasympathetic nerves . Poisoned animals show saliva-
tion, lachrymation, diarrhoea and convulsions followed by
depression, prostration, ataxia and cyanosis, and then death
usually ensues within a short time. Avian species are more
susceptible to the toxic effects of diazinon than are mam-
mals. Poisoned chickens often exhibit only respiratory dis-
tress, lachrymation and salivation before death, and therefore
the suspicion of an acute respiratory infection may also arise
Diazinon is a very highly toxic organophosphate com-
avian species [3, 4]. There are reports in the scientific litera-
ture of natural outbreaks in wild geese  and goslings .
During a recent episode, in a Northern Hungarian flock
comprising 7600 breeder geese a total of 730 birds died of
diazinon poisoning within 24 hours. This paper reports the
observations made and examinations performed during the
investigation of this case of poisoning.
The diazinon toxicity has been reported in very many
*Address correspondence to this author at the Central Agricultural Office,
Veterinary Diagnostic Directorate, Tábornok u. 2, H-1149 Budapest, Hun-
gary; Tel: 36-1460-6300; Fax: 36-1252-5177; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
MATERIALS AND METHODOLOGY
water from watering troughs were submitted for laboratory
examination from each of the two affected houses.
Post-mortem examination of the goose carcasses, histo-
pathological examination of their selected organs (brain,
liver, kidney, heart, pancreas) and bacterial culture from the
livers were done according to the standard diagnostic proce-
dures practised in the institute.
During the toxicological analysis of samples from the
oesophageal content and drinking water, extraction and sam-
ple cleanup were done using procedures suitable for the
identification of organophosphates. For the instrumental
analysis a gas chromatograph equipped with a mass spec-
trometric detector (AutoSystem XL-TurboMass GC-MS)
was used. Gas chromatographic separation was done using a
PE-35 MS type column (length 30 m, diameter 0.32 mm,
film thickness 0.25 ?m). The analysis employed a tempera-
ture programme optimised for the separation of organophos-
phate esters. For mass spectrometric detection we used elec-
tron ionisation (EI+; 70 eV). The mass spectrometric detec-
tor was operated in scan mode (range: 50–400 m/z) and
selected ion mode (SIM). Diazinon was identified on the
basis of the standard retention time and the mass spectrum.
With the help of a software (TurboMass), the obtained mass
spectrum was compared to mass spectra available in the
NIST, NBS and Pfleger libraries. For the quantitative analy-
sis an internal standard was used.
Ten goose carcasses and samples of discoloured drinking
6 The Open Toxinology Journal, 2008, Volume 1 Fazekas et al.
separate houses on a farmstead in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén
County, about 15 minutes after the morning feeding and
watering of geese in two houses (n = 1300 and 1200, respec-
tively) a certain proportion of the birds showed trembling,
salivation, lachrymation and respiratory distress followed by
convulsions, dullness and prostration. Within a short time,
deaths also occurred. About 700 geese died during the day
and a further 30 during the following night (total: 730
In a flock of 7600 one-year-old breeder geese kept in 6
curred. No such toxicosis symptoms were observed in the
other four houses. The drinking water in the watering
troughs belonging to the two affected houses showed milk-
like, whitish discolouration. The drinking from these water-
ing troughs was immediately suspended when the poisoning
During the subsequent days no further mortalities oc-
nation showed similar lesions. The crop contained a large
volume of thin, yellowish-white, mucous-watery content of
characteristic odour. A smaller volume of similar content
could be found in the proventriculus. The gizzard contained
mash feed and pebbles. The mucous membrane of the intes-
tinal tract was hyperaemic, showed vascular injection and in
some segments – especially in the small intestine – it was
dark red and covered by catarrhal mucus. The parenchymal
organs were hyperaemic and the liver was slightly swollen.
The 10 goose carcasses subjected to post-mortem exami-
The blood was flowing and not clotted. The other organs, the
serous membranes and the skeletal muscles were without
indicative of acute circulatory disturbance, passive conges-
tive hyperaemia and, occasionally, mild interstitial oedema
was observed in the brain, liver, kidney, heart and pancreas
of the goose carcasses.
Histopathological examination demonstrated changes
cessful. Viral infections were ruled out on the basis of his-
tory, clinical signs, and gross and microscopic pathology.
Attempts to culture bacteria from the organs were unsuc-
subjected to toxicological analysis contained 22.1 mg/kg and
9.3 mg/kg diazinon, respectively, while in the drinking water
samples originating from the two affected houses 807 mg/l
and 582 mg/l diazinon concentrations, respectively, were
found. The identity of diazinon was confirmed by the iden-
tity of the mass spectrum and the retention time. The chro-
matogram obtained by the GC-MS analysis of the oesophag-
eal content of one of the goose carcasses is shown in Fig. (1),
while the mass spectrum of diazinon is presented in Fig. (2).
The oesophageal content of the two goose carcasses
occurring in the goose flock, the daily mortality curve and
the observed clinical signs and pathomorphological changes
In the case reported in this paper, the course of disease
Fig. (1). GC-MS chromatogram of goose oesophageal content (Scan EI+; TIC); the peak located at 21:56 minutes corresponds to diazinon.
goose oesophageal content
lud nyelocsotartalom 1
Diazinon Toxicosis in Geese The Open Toxinology Journal, 2008, Volume 1 7
were highly suggestive of poisoning. Toxicological analysis
of the oesophageal content of goose carcasses and of the
drinking water clearly demonstrated that this suspicion was
well founded. Using a gas chromatograph equipped with
mass spectrometric detector, diazinon was detected in con-
centrations of 22.1 mg/kg and 9.3 mg/kg in the oesophageal
content and in concentrations of 807 mg/l and 582 mg/l,
respectively, in the drinking water samples. These are cer-
tainly significant levels, particularly those in the water, and
relate to the known toxicity from diazinon (LD50: 14.7
mg/kg) in avian species . The high diazinon content of the
water samples was indicative of accidental or intentional
contamination. Diazinon is a highly toxic organophosphate
compound, which is the active ingredient of the Neocidol
600EC dip and of the pesticides Basudin 5G, Basudin
600EW, Diazinon 5G, Diazol 5G and Diazol 60EC. Al-
though the diazinon-containing product responsible for the
poisoning could not be identified, based on the diazinon
content of the above products the toxicosis was most likely
caused by the Neocidol 600 EC dip or the Basudin 600 EW
pesticide. Neocidol 600 EC dip is widely used for preventive
treatment of psoroptic mange of sheep in Hungary. In the
literature, natural cases of diazinon toxicity have been de-
scribed in broiler chickens  and, of the wild waterfowl
species, in Canada geese [5, 8, 9] and goslings . In young,
3-day-old chicks high mortality was observed . Necropsy
revealed lachrymation, diarrhoea, haemorrhages under the
pleura and in the mucous membrane of the proventriculus,
and ulceration of the proventriculus. Numerous yellow gran-
ules were found in the crop. The assayed crop contents con-
tained 39 ppm diazinon. The toxicity in that instance may
have resulted from the ingestion of diazinon-impregnated
granules used for litter treatment .
several animal species including goslings. In the latter spe-
cies, the antidotal efficacy of different doses of pralidoxime
iodide and obidoxime dichloride against the clinical signs of
poisoning was investigated. Pralidoxime at 100 mg/kg
brought about a complete and speedy clinical recovery, while
at lower doses (50 and 25 mg/kg) it induced recovery in
some of the poisoned goslings only. Obidoxime at 50 and
100 mg/kg delayed the death of some birds by several hours.
At 100 mg/kg, all goslings had transient signs of intoxica-
tion, which precluded the use of this compound as an anti-
dote at higher doses .
Experimental diazinon poisoning has been induced in
non and diazinon-containing antiparasitic agents are widely
used in plant cultivation and animal production. The regula-
tions concerning the proper distribution, use and storage of
these products are often not complied with. This increases
the risk of poisoning, which could be reduced by more strin-
gent supervision and control.
Pesticides containing organophosphates including diazi-
Official Veterinarians, for their help with the on-the-spot
examinations and observations.
The authors thank Dr Gyula Dobos and Dr Lajos Jánki,
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lud nyelocsotartalom 1
lud1 2223 (21.556)
6080100120140160180200 220240260280300320340360380 400
Fig. (2). The mass spectrum serving for the identification of diazinon (Rt: 21.556 min).
8 The Open Toxinology Journal, 2008, Volume 1 Fazekas et al.
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Received: August 25, 2008
Revised: September 16, 2008 Accepted: September 29, 2008
© Fazekas et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.
This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-
nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.