Clinical signs and duration of cyanide toxicosis delivered by the M-44 ejector in wild dogs

Sodium cyanide poison is potentially a more humane method to control wild dogs than sodium fluoroacetate (1080) poison. This study quantified the clinical signs and duration of cyanide toxicosis delivered by the M-44 ejector. The device delivered a nominal 0.88 g of sodium cyanide, which caused the animal to loose the menace reflex in a mean of 43 s, and the animal was assumed to have undergone cerebral hypoxia after the last visible breath. The mean time to cerebral hypoxia was 156 s for a vertical pull and 434 s for a side pull. The difference was possibly because some cyanide may be lost in a side pull. There were three distinct phases of cyanide toxicosis: the initial phase was characterised by head shaking, panting and salivation; the immobilisation phase by incontinence, ataxia and loss of the righting reflex; and the cerebral hypoxia phase by a tetanic seizure. Clinical signs that were exhibited in more than one phase of cyanide toxicosis included retching, agonal breathing, vocalisation, vomiting, altered levels of ocular reflex, leg paddling, tonic muscular spasms, respiratory distress and muscle fasciculations of the muzzle.

Author Amber L. Hooke, Lee Allen and Luke K.-P. Leung
Date null
Year 2006
Secondary title Wildlife Research
Volume 33
Number 3
Institution University of Queensland
Department School of Animal Studies
Pages 181-185
Notes Notes
Control method Metal ejectors M44