Description    Tall Fescue, LOLIUM ARUNDINACEUM is an important grass in North America but when infected with a common toxic endophyte produces the ergot alkaloids that cause Tall Fescue Toxicity. Chronic ingestion can cause 'fescue foot' in cattle and occcasionally in sheep. Signs start 5 days to several months after access to fescue. Skin sloughing can include the tail, ears and hooves. Cattle and sheep grazing infected Tall Fescue can have a syndrome of elevated body temperature, labored respiration, poor performance, decreased reproductive efficiency and poor milk production; this is known as 'fescue summer poisoning'.
Species   Bovine, Ovine
Signs   Abnormal proprioceptive positioning, Agalactia, Alopecia, Anestrus, Anorexia, Cold skin, Cracked skin, Cyanosis, Decreased, absent thirst, hypodipsia, adipsia, Dehydration, Diarrhea, Dryness of skin or hair, Dullness, Dyspnea, Excessive salivation, Female infertility, Fever, Forefoot swelling, Forelimb lameness, Forelimb swelling, Generalized lameness or stiffness, Hindfoot swelling, Hindlimb lameness, Hindlimb swelling, Hyperesthesia, Inability to stand, Increased respiratory rate, Kyphosis, Lack of growth or weight gain, Nail, claw, hoof sloughing, Reluctant to move, Rough hair coat, Skin erythema, Skin necrosis, Skin pain, Tongue protrusion, Underweight, poor condition, thin, emaciated, unthriftiness, ill thrift, Weight loss
References   Liebe DM. Meta-Analysis of Endophyte-Infected Tall Fescue Effects on Cattle Growth Rates. J Anim Sci 2018;Mar [Web Reference]
Baldwin VI RL. Consumption of endophyte-infected fescue seed during the dry period does not decrease milk production in the following lactation. J Dairy Sci 2016;99:7574 [Web Reference]
Kallenbach RL. Coping with tall fescue toxicosis: Solutions and realities. J Anim Sci 2015;93:5487 [Web Reference]
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