PYRROLIZIDINE ALKALOID POISONING IN RUMINANTS AND HORSES
 
Description    SENECIO, AMSINCKIA, CROTOLARIA, CYNOGLOSSUM, ECHIUM, and HELIOTROPIUM plants cause liver damage characterized by hepatocytomegaly, fibrosis and bile duct proliferation. The syndrome can occur 2-13 months after ingestion of the alkaloid making historical confirmation of toxicity difficult. Young growing animals are more susceptible. Photosensitization can occur in chronic cases. Goats and sheep are resistant but can be poisoned. Fescue, FESUCA ARUNDINACEA, might carry an endophyte that produces a pryrrolizidine alkaloid toxic to horses.
 
Species   Bovine, Equine, Caprine, Ovine
 
Signs   Abdominal distention, Abnormal behavior, aggression, changing habits, Abnormal proprioceptive positioning, Abnormal pupillary response to light, Abnormal upper airway breathing sounds, Agalactia, Anorexia, Ascites, Ataxia, Blindness, Circling, Colic, Coma, Decreased amount of stools, absent feces, constipation, Dehydration, Diarrhea, Difficulty in prehending or chewing food, Dullness, Dysmetria, Dysphagia, Dyspnea, Excitement, Generalized weakness, Head pressing, Head, face, ears, jaw, nose, nasal, swelling, Hemoglobinuria or myoglobinuria, Hyperesthesia, Icterus, Inability to stand, Increased respiratory rate, Lack of growth or weight gain, Neck swelling, Pica, Polydipsia, Prolapsed rectum, Prolonged capillary refill time, Propulsion, Red or brown urine, Rough hair coat, Rumen hypomotility or atony, Seizures or syncope, Skin crusts, Skin edema, Skin erythema, Skin pain, Skin scales, Sudden death, Swelling, mass external abdomen, Tachycardia, Tenesmus, Thoracic swelling, Tongue weakness, Trembling, Underweight, poor condition, thin, emaciated, unthriftiness, ill thrift, Weight loss
 
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