COPPER TOXICITY IN SHEEP, GOATS, AND CATTLE, CHRONIC, ACUTE
 
Description    Chronic Copper Toxicity is an important disease of sheep following: ingestion of excess copper in the diet; ingestion of copper followed by liver damage by hepatotoxic plants such as HELIOTROPIUM or SENECIA; or normal copper ingestion with a deficiency of molybdenum or sulfur. Signs develop acutely even though copper levels accumulated slowly. Hemolysis is not always present in goats, but the Boer breed might be more susceptible to the hemolytic form. Because mature cattle can tolerate high levels of copper bovine Chronic Copper Toxicity is uncommon. Acute Oral Copper Toxicity in ruminants is usually due to overdose of copper-containing medications; feces might have a bluish-green tinge. Injectable forms of copper can cause liver necrosis sometimes accompanied by hepatoencephalopathy.
 
Species   Bovine, Caprine, Ovine
 
Signs   Abnormal pupillary response to light, Agalactia, Anorexia, Ataxia, Bloat in ruminants, Bloody stools, feces, hematochezia, Bradycardia, Brown color, mucous membranes, Circling, Cold skin, Colic, Congestion oral mucous membranes, Cyanosis, Decreased amount of stools, absent feces, constipation, Dehydration, Diarrhea, Dullness, Dysmetria, Dyspnea, Excessive salivation, Excitement, Exercise intolerance, Generalized weakness, Grinding teeth, Hemoglobinuria or myoglobinuria, Hyperesthesia, Hypothermia, Icterus, Inability to stand, Increased respiratory rate, Kyphosis, Melena or occult blood in feces, stools, Mucoid nasal discharge, Mucous, mucoid stools, feces, Mydriasis, Oliguria or anuria, Opisthotonus, Pale, Polydipsia, Polyuria, Propulsion, Red or brown urine, Rough hair coat, Rumen hypomotility or atony, Seizures or syncope, Strabismus, Sudden death, Sweating, Tachycardia, Trembling, Tremor, Underweight, poor condition, thin, emaciated, unthriftiness, ill thrift, Weak pulse, Weight loss
 
References   Chigerwe M. Seizure Disorders in Goats and Sheep. J Vet Intern Med 2106;30:1752 [Web Reference]
Cowan V. Characterizing 1341 cases of veterinary toxicoses confirmed in western Canada: A 16-year retrospective study. Can Vet J 2016;57:53 [Web Reference]
Newcomer BW. A suspected case of hepatogenous chronic copper toxicity in a Charolais heifer. Vet Rec Case Rep 2016;4:e000252 [Web Reference]
Kendall NR. Liver copper concentrations in cull cattle in the UK: are cattle being copper loaded? Vet Rec 2015;177:493 [Web Reference]
Grace N. Taking action to reduce the risk of copper toxicity in cattle. Vet Rec 2015;177:490 [Web Reference]
Lovatt F. Sudden death in sheep. In Pract 2014;36:409 [Web Reference]
Copyright © 2017 Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine