PERENNIAL RYEGRASS, LOLIUM PERENNE, POISONING, STAGGERS
 
Description    Perennial ryegrass (LOLIUM PERENNE) can be colonized by the endophytic fungus EPICHLOň FESTUCAE var. LOLII, which produces the toxin lolitrem B, which induces the tremorgenic syndrome Ryegrass Staggers in grazing animals. There can be neurologic disease, heat stress, and loss of productivity.
 
Species   Bovine, Equine, Caprine, Ovine
 
Signs   Abnormal behavior, aggression, changing habits, Abnormal proprioceptive positioning, Abortion or weak newborns, Agalactia, Anorexia, Ataxia, Dehydration, Diarrhea, Disoriented, Dullness, Dysmetria, Dyspnea, Excitement, Exercise intolerance, Fever, Generalized lameness or stiffness, Hyperesthesia, Hypothermia, Inability to stand, Increased respiratory rate, Lack of growth or weight gain, Nystagmus, Opisthotonus, Propulsion, Reluctant to move, Seizures or syncope, Strabismus, Sweating, Tachycardia, Tetany, Trembling, Tremor, Underweight, poor condition, thin, emaciated, unthriftiness, ill thrift, Weight loss
 
References   Finch SC. Ergovaline does not alter the severity of ryegrass staggers induced by lolitrem B. N Z Vet J 2018;66:93 [Web Reference]
Fletcher LR. The occurrence of ryegrass staggers and heat stress in sheep grazing ryegrass-endophyte associations with diverse alkaloid profiles. N Z Vet J 2017;65:232 [Web Reference]
Morris CA. Animal physiology and genetic aspects of ryegrass staggers in grazing sheep. N Z Vet J 2017;65:171 [Web Reference]
Niles GA. Toxicoses of the Ruminant Nervous System. Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract 2017;33:111 [Web Reference]
Gibbons P. Cerebellar Disease of Ruminants. Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract 2017;33:59 [Web Reference]
Johnstone LK. Flow-mediated K+ secretion in horses intoxicated with lolitrem B (perennial ryegrass staggers). N Z Vet J 2013;61:159 [Web Reference]
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