ARSENIC TOXICITY IN LARGE ANIMALS
 
Description    Arsenic is used as an herbicide and exposure to arsenic can lead to toxicity. Acute colic can occur in horses and cattle. Organic arsenicals, derivatives of phenylarsonic acid such as arsanilic acid and roxarsone, have been used as growth stimulants and as treatments for swine dysentery. Excessive feeding can lead to onset of clinical signs. Signs are associated with degeneration of optic tracts, spinal tracts and peripheral nerves.
 
Species   Bovine, Equine, Caprine, Ovine, Porcine
 
Signs   Abnormal proprioceptive positioning, Abnormal pupillary response to light, Agalactia, Alopecia, Anorexia, Ataxia, Blindness, Bloat in ruminants, Bloody stools, feces, hematochezia, Circling, Cold skin, Colic, Coma, Congestion oral mucous membranes, Constant or increased vocalization, Cracked skin, Cyanosis, Decreased amount of stools, absent feces, constipation, Dehydration, Diarrhea, Dryness of skin or hair, Dullness, Dysmetria, Dyspnea, Epistaxis, Excessive salivation, Excitement, Fever, Generalized lameness or stiffness, Generalized weakness, Grinding teeth, Head tilt, Hematuria, Hemorrhage of any body part or clotting failure, Hyperesthesia, Hyperkeratosis, Hypothermia, Inability to stand, Increased respiratory rate, Melena or occult blood in feces, stools, Mucous, mucoid stools, feces, Mydriasis, Optic atrophy, Pain on external abdominal pressure, Pale, Paraparesis, Polydipsia, Polyuria, Reluctant to move, Rough hair coat, Rumen hypomotility or atony, Seizures or syncope, Skin erythema, Skin scales, Skin ulcer, Sudden death, Tachycardia, Tetraparesis, Torticollis, Trembling, Tremor, Underweight, poor condition, thin, emaciated, unthriftiness, ill thrift, Vomiting or regurgitation, Weak pulse, Weight loss
 
References   Stegelmeier BL. Toxic Causes of Intestinal Disease in Horses. Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract 2018;Feb [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]
Bertin FR. Arsenic Toxicosis in Cattle: Meta-Analysis of 156 Cases. J Vet Intern Med 2013;27:977 [Web Reference]
Middleton S. Porcine Ophthalmology. Vet Clin N A Food Anim Pract 2010;26:557 [Web Reference]
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