Submitted to: International Journal of Poisonous Plant Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 18, 2011
Publication Date: November 15, 2011
Citation: Furlan, S., Panter, K.E., Pfister, J.A., Stegelmeier, B.L. 2011. Fetotoxicity of Astragalus lentiginosus (locoweed) in Spanish goats. International Journal of Poisonous Plant Research. 1(1):35-40. Interpretive Summary: Locoweeds are those plant species of the Astragalus and Oxytropis genera that contain the toxin swainsonine. They are poisonous to grazing animals and cause large economic losses to livestock producers in the western U.S. and other regions of the world. Locoweed caused embryo and fetal loss in pregnant Spanish goats and clinical signs such as muscular weakness, incoordination and unusual behavior also occurred.
Technical Abstract: Locoweeds (plant species of Astragalus and Oxytropis containing swainsonine) cause large economic losses to the livestock industry in the western United States and in other regions of the world. Embryo and fetal loss is commonly reported when pregnant animals grazed locoweeds. Pregnant Spanish goats were especially sensitive to locoweed poisoning and embryo and fetal losses occurred as early as 10 days after the beginning of locoweed ingestion. Maternal goats exhibited clinical signs of intoxication within 10-15 days and included proprioceptive deficits, ataxia, muscular tremors, lumbar paresis and aberrant behavior in addition to the embryo/fetal losses.