The effects of levamisole poisoning on the haematological and biochemical parameters in dogs

Dtsch Tierarztl Wochenschr. 2004 Feb;111(2):81-5.


This study was designed to evaluate possible organ and system disorders associated with experimentally induced levamisole poisoning in dogs. For this purpose, twelve clinically healthy dogs of different ages, sexes and breeds were used. They were divided into two equal groups (Group A and Group B) and given levamisole orally at a dose of 25 mg/kg of body weight daily for three days. The dogs in Group B were also injected with atropin sulphate (0.04 mg/kg of body weight) subcutaneously (sc) 1 hour after each administration of levamisole. Routine clinical examinations were made and some haematological, biochemical and blood gas parameters were established at various times after administration of levamisole. The dogs in Group A developed severe neurological signs, gastric haemorrhage, bloody vomiting, colic, anaemia and four dogs died. In Group B these signs were mild and only one dog died. Levamisole poisoning was characterised by a significant reduction in the total number of red blood cells (RBCs), concentration of haemoglobin (Hb) and packed cell volume (PCV), and by anaemia. Peripheral blood pH, actual bicarbonate of plasma (HCO3), actual base excess (BE), partial pressure of oxygen (pO2) and saturated oxygen (O2SAT) increased in both groups of animals and these dogs developed metabolic alkalosis 48 hours after the first administration of levamisole. The results of the study also show that levamisole poisoning in dogs causes a significant increase in the activity of serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and of alkaline phosphatase (AP) and in the concentration of urea in both Group A and Group B. In the study, atropin sulphate reduced the severity of the clinical signs and the number of deaths, but it was not alone sufficient to remedy levamisole poisoning in dogs.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antinematodal Agents / poisoning*
  • Antinematodal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Atropine / administration & dosage
  • Blood Chemical Analysis / veterinary
  • Blood Gas Analysis / veterinary
  • Dog Diseases / blood*
  • Dog Diseases / chemically induced
  • Dog Diseases / drug therapy
  • Dogs
  • Erythrocyte Count / veterinary
  • Female
  • Hematocrit / veterinary
  • Hematologic Tests / veterinary
  • Hemoglobins / analysis
  • Levamisole / poisoning*
  • Levamisole / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Random Allocation


  • Antinematodal Agents
  • Hemoglobins
  • Levamisole
  • Atropine