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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Poisonous Plant Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #332170

Research Project: Understanding and Mitigating the Adverse Effects of Poisonous Plants on Livestock Production Systems

Location: Poisonous Plant Research

Title: The clearance of delphinium alkaloids from the serum of cattle

Author
item Green, Benedict - Ben
item Welch, Kevin
item Gardner, Dale
item Davis, Thomas - Zane
item Stegelmeier, Bryan
item Lee, Stephen

Submitted to: International Symposium on Poisonous Plants
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/28/2015
Publication Date: 6/5/2015
Citation: Green, B.T., Welch, K.D., Gardner, D.R., Davis, T.Z., Stegelmeier, B.L., Lee, S.T. 2015. The clearance of delphinium alkaloids from the serum of cattle. International Symposium on Poisonous Plants. 9:296-306.

Interpretive Summary: Larkspurs commonly poison cattle in many western rangelands of North America. Yearly herd mortality can be as high as 10% with annual economic losses of several millions of dollars in animal deaths, increased management, treatment costs, and the loss of the use of otherwise nutritious pastures and rangelands. There are over 80 wild species of larkspurs (Delphinium) in North America and they are divided into three general categories based on mature plant height and geographical distribution that include low, tall, and plains larkspurs and cattle may have different toxicokinetic responses to these larkspur.

Technical Abstract: Larkspurs (Delphinium spp.) (figure 1) commonly poison cattle in many western rangelands of North America. Yearly herd mortality can be as high as 10% with annual economic losses of several millions of dollars in animal deaths, increased management, treatment costs, and the loss of the use of otherwise nutritious pastures and rangelands. There are over 80 wild species of larkspurs (Delphinium) in North America (Kingsbury 1964). These species are divided into three general categories based on mature plant height and geographical distribution that include low, tall, and plains larkspurs (Burrows and Tyrl 2001). The primary toxic species in the western United States are D. barbeyi, D. occidentale, D. glaucescens, and D. glaucum (tall larkspurs); D. nuttallianum, D. bicolor, and D. andersonii (low larkspurs); and D. geyeri (plains larkspur). Further research is needed to compare the toxicokinetic parameters of susceptible line 1 Herefords and resistant Holstein cattle in the same experiment to determine if toxicokinetic differences are behind the differences in breed susceptibility to larkspur intoxication.