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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Poisonous Plant Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #371489

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

Location: Poisonous Plant Research

Title: Plant induced myotoxicity in livestock

item Davis, Thomas - Zane
item Stegelmeier, Bryan
item CLAYTON, MICHAEL - Utah State University

Submitted to: Veterinary Clinics of North America
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/31/2020
Publication Date: 10/5/2020
Citation: Davis, T.Z., Stegelmeier, B.L., Clayton, M.J. 2020. Plant induced myotoxicity in livestock. Veterinary Clinics of North America. 36:689-699.

Interpretive Summary: There are many plants that cause myoskeletal and myocardial lesions in livestock. Many of the cardioglycoside containing plants are lethal when ingested in small amounts. When diagnosing cases of plant poisoning it is necessary to examine clinical signs, serum biochemistries, toxin or metabolite tissue analyses, field studies and plant toxin chemistry analysis as well as histopathology data from any samples collected. A thorough investigation can provide knowledge to better understand risk and to modify grazing patterns to avoid future poisonings. Additionally, the clinical effects of many of the myoskeletal plants can be reversed with supplemental veterinary care and by eliminating access to the plants.

Technical Abstract: There are many toxic plants, that when ingested by livestock while grazing or eating contaminated processed feed, can produce myoskeletal or myocardial lesions that sometimes have irreversible consequences. Some of the myotoxic plants are lethal following ingestion of very small amounts while others require their consumption for many days to several weeks to produce disease. Therefore, incorporation of field studies, clinical signs, gross and microscopic pathology as well as chemical identification of plants, toxins and metabolites in animal samples are essential to make an accurate diagnosis. The objectives of this review are to briefly introduce toxic plants that cause myotoxicity, review the toxins and lesions, discuss relevant analyses to make an accurate diagnosis and summarize treatments and recommendations to avoid future poisonings.