VERATRUM POISONING IN RUMINANTS
 
Description    Alkaloids of the plant VERATRUM CALIFORNICUM (skunk cabbage, false hellbore, corn lilly) in the western U.S. cause disease in ewes that eat it and teratologic abnormalities in their lambs, including a characteristic deformity of the face called the cyclopian malformation with a fused single eye. Grazing of this plant by pregnant ewes between the 14th and 33rd days of gestation might be a factor in lamb crop losses. Most common in sheep but cattle and goats are considered susceptible.
 
Species   Bovine, Caprine, Ovine
 
Signs   Abnormal length estrus cycle, Abnormal length of estrus period, Abnormal upper airway breathing sounds, Abortion or weak newborns, Ataxia, Cleft palate or lip, Coma, Cyanosis, Decreased respiratory rate, Diarrhea, Dyspnea, Excessive salivation, Female infertility, Generalized weakness, Increased frequency of urination, Prolonged gestation, Relative shortening forelimb, Relative shortening hind limb, Seizures or syncope, Tachycardia, Tetraparesis, Vomiting or regurgitation
 
References   Dittmer KE. Approach to Investigating Congenital Skeletal Abnormalities in Livestock. Vet Pathol 2015;52:851 [Web Reference]
Panter KE. Effects of Xenobiotics and Phytotoxins on Reproduction in Food Animals. Vet Clin N A Food Anim Pract 2011;27:429 [Web Reference]
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