Earwax: A clue to discover fluoroacetate intoxication in cattle

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An innovative method was developed to detect fluoroacetate poisoning in cattle by headspace/gas chromatographic analysis of earwax samples of intoxicated cattle. Samples were collected from 2 groups of cattle subjected to induced fluoroacetate intoxication, each group receiving a different dose of acetamide (antidote). Monofluoroacetic acid was detected in samples of intoxicated cattle in concentrations inversely proportional to the dose of acetamide. Thus, earwax analysis represents a successful approach for detection and monitoring of fluoroacetate poisoning.

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