MERCURY TOXICITY IN CATTLE
 
Description    Mercury toxicity varies with the chemical formulation; organic mercurials are generally more toxic. Absorbed through the respiratory and GI tracts, and organic mercurials can be absorbed through the skin. Most reported cases in cattle are due to feed contaminated with organic mercurial fungicides but there can be other sources as well.
 
Species   Bovine
 
Signs   Abnormal proprioceptive positioning, Agalactia, Alopecia, Anorexia, Ataxia, Blindness, Bloody stools, feces, hematochezia, Colic, Coma, Coughing, Dehydration, Diarrhea, Dullness, Dysmetria, Dysphagia, Dyspnea, Epistaxis, Excessive salivation, Fever, Forelimb lameness, Generalized lameness or stiffness, Generalized weakness, Hematuria, Hemoglobinuria or myoglobinuria, Hindlimb lameness, Hyperesthesia, Hypothermia, Inability to stand, Increased respiratory rate, Lacrimation, Lymphadenopathy, Melena or occult blood in feces, stools, Mucoid nasal discharge, Oral mucosal ulcers, vesicles, Pale, Paraparesis, Polydipsia, Propulsion, Pruritus, Purulent nasal discharge, Red or brown urine, Rumen hypomotility or atony, Seizures or syncope, Skin pustules, Skin ulcer, Sudden death, Tachycardia, Tetraparesis, Tongue ulcers, vesicles, Trembling, Tremor, Weak pulse, Weight loss
 
References   Krametter-Froetscher R. Toxic effects seen in a herd of beef cattle following exposure to ash residues contaminated by lead and mercury. The Vet J 2007;174:99 [Web Reference]
Otter A. Differential diagnosis of diarrhoea in adult cattle. In Pract 2007;29:9 [Web Reference]
Sharpe RT. Surveillance of suspect animal toxicoses with potential food safety implications in England and Wales between 1990 and 2002. Vet Rec 2005;157:465 [Web Reference]
Haskell SRR et al. Antidotes in food animal practice. JAVMA 2005;226:884 [Web Reference]
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