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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ASTRAGALUS AND OXYTROPIS POISONING IN LIVESTOCK

Location: Poisonous Plant Research

Title: Locoweed Poisoning in Cattle

Authors
item Cook, Daniel
item Ralphs, Michael
item Welch, Kevin
item Stegelmeier, Bryan

Submitted to: Rangelands
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 7, 2009
Publication Date: February 1, 2009
Repository URL: http://www.pprl.ars.usda.gov
Citation: Cook, D., Ralphs, M.H., Welch, K.D., Stegelmeier, B.L. 2009. Locoweed Poisoning in Cattle. Rangelands, 31(1):16-21. http://www.bioone.org/doi/pdf/10.2111/1551-501X-31.1.45?

Interpretive Summary: Astragalus and Oxytropis species are members of the Legume family that occur throughout western North America and terrestrial ecosystems world-wide. In North America alone there are 354 known species of Astragalus and 22 species of Oxytropis. Most of these species are non-toxic and are important forages; however, several species are toxic to both livestock and wildlife. Historically, toxic species are divided into three groups based on the toxic syndromes observed in livestock, 1) selenium poisoning, 2) nitrotoxin poisoning, and 3) locoism caused by the toxin swainsonine. Each of the three toxic syndromes is discussed with a special emphasis to locoism caused by the toxin swainsonine.

Technical Abstract: Astragalus and Oxytropis species are members of the Legume family that occur throughout western North America and terrestrial ecosystems world-wide. In North America alone there are 354 known species of Astragalus and 22 species of Oxytropis. Most of these species are non-toxic and are important forages; however, several species are toxic to both livestock and wildlife. Historically, toxic species are divided into three groups based on the toxic syndromes observed in livestock, 1) selenium poisoning, 2) nitrotoxin poisoning, and 3) locoism caused by the toxin swainsonine. Each of the three toxic syndromes is discussed with a special emphasis to locoism caused by the toxin swainsonine. Some of the topics considered in regard to locoweed poisoning are plant ecology, toxin and mechanism of action, pathogenesis, reproductive problems, diagnosis and toxicokinetics, conditions of poisoning, and grazing management recommendations.

Last Modified: 4/21/2014