Flock and Herd logo


Plant Poisoning Workshop 2005
Posted Flock & Herd February 2011

Sudden Death

Lead paper: Sudden (or almost sudden) death
Written by: Chris Bourke, Principal Research Scientist (Poisonous Plants), Orange Agricultural Institute, Orange NSW
Outbreaks of sudden death can be very dramatic, the attending veterinarian may be confronted with large numbers of animals that are either dead or dying, in a herd or flock that was apparently normal ... Read More

Green cestrum poisoning in poisoning in farm livestock
Written by: Keith Hart, District Veterinarian, Camden RLPB
Green cestrum is a woody shrub introduced from South America as a garden ornamental. Unfortunately, it has escaped and become established ... Read More

Kikuyu poisoning
Written by: Digby Rayward, District Veterinarian, Maitland RLPB
Kikuyu is an imported grass species from South Africa. Kikuyu poisoning occurs infrequently, considering the amount of kikuyu grown for ... Read More

Nitrate poisoning
Written by: Ian Masters, District Veterinarian, Narrandera RLPB
The loss of 30 yearling beef animals at a local abattoir after feeding out millet hay in holding paddocks and the sudden death of 260 merino wethers on the TSR ... Read More

Nitrate - nitrite poisoning
Written by: Richard Hernando, District Veterinarian, Walgett RLPB
In ruminants: nitrate NO3 ? NO2 Nitrite in the rumen. The nitrite is absorbed into the bloodstream. It is here it binds to haemoglobin to form methaemoglobin ... Read More

Phalaris poisoning
Written by: Andrew Biddle, District Veterinarian, Northern New England RLPB
Phalaris is extensively grown, many of the soils are cobalt deficient and plants are often stressed by lack of moisture or frosting ... Read More

Staggers Syndromes

Lead paper: Staggers syndromes
Written by: Chris Bourke, Principal Research Scientist (Poisonous Plants), Orange Agricultural Institute, Orange NSW
Many plant associated staggers syndromes can affect ruminants in Australia, many of these look similar, most have no associated gross pathological changes and few have pathognomonic microscopic changes ... Read More

Flood plain staggers
Written by: Bill Hetherington, District Veterinarian, Moree RLPB
A phone call from a worried ratepayer informed me that his cows were taking fits. On arrival, all previous ideas regarding exaggeration were quickly dispelled as ... Read More

Written by: Shaun Slattery, District Veterinarian, Narrabri RLPB
Locomotor syndrome of full-woolled sheep in summer and autumn, in western Queensland and North-Western NSW. Usually older sheep ... Read More

Perennial ryegrass staggers
Written by: David Cooke, Final year veterinary student, University of Sydney
Sheep will initially exhibit a nodding of the head and tremoring. The condition is often noticed when moving stock, and with forced exercise or fright, sheep may stagger ... Read More

Phalaris staggers
Written by: John MacFarlane, District Veterinarian, Armidale RLPB
In 1942 Ian MacDonald, a Veterinary Pathologist, reported a ?staggers? syndrome in sheep and cattle associated with grazing on Phalaris aquatica ... Read More

Phalaris staggers in cattle
Written by: Brigit Pitman, Assistant District Veterinarian, Hume RLPB
In June 2000 a dairy farmer reported a problem with his weaned dairy calves. Affected animals were first noticed 2 months prior with variable neurological signs and 2 deaths ... Read More

Stagger weed
Written by: John Evers, District Veterinarian, Young RLPB
Stachys arvensis, commonly know as stagger weed, is an annual forb that has been associated with a locomotory disorder in sheep, cattle and horses in Australia since 1895 ... Read More

Suspect onion grass poisoning
Written by: Gabe Morrice, District Veterinarian, Narrandera RLPB
Ten out of 400 ewes (2.5%) were affected to varying degrees. On the initial examination (on a relatively cool day of 14 - 15?C) two of the ewes had temperatures of 40?C ... Read More

Tribulus staggers
Written by: Steve Eastwood, District Veterinarian, Coonabarabran RLPB
History important ? may not be grazing tribulus when first observed, signs may develop at least 3 months after initial exposure and can last an average of 8 months, mainly sheep affected ... Read More

Photosensitisation and hepatopathies

Lead paper: Photosensitisation and Hepatopathies
Written by: Chris Bourke, Principal Research Scientist (Poisonous Plants), Orange Agricultural Institute, Orange NSW
Outbreaks of poisonous plant related photosensitisation may be primary, or they may be secondary to a primary hepatopathy. Relatively few examples of primary photosensitisation occur ... Read More

Fireweed (Senecio madagascariensis)
Written by: Allan Glassop, District Veterinarian, Gloucester RLPB
Fireweed is an aggressive invader of pasture, particularly when dry conditions reduce competition from other species, or where soil ... Read More

Green cestrum (Cestrum parqui)
Written by: Bob McKinnon, District Veterinarian, Tamworth RLPB
Green cestrum is toxic to animals including cattle, sheep, horses, humans, pigs and poultry. In our situation it is most often seen as a disease of cattle ... Read More

Lantana (Lantana camara)
Written by: Ian Harradine, District Veterinarian, Grafton RLPB
The initial signs in an affected animal are a loss of appetite with depression and standing aside from the mob in the shade. There is frequent urination followed by constipation ... Read More

Panicum and tribulus
Written by: Shaun Slattery, District Veterinarian, Narrabri RLPB
This presentation deals with a major and common presenting clinical sign rather than a specific plant or group of toxins ... Read More

St Johns wort (Hypericum perforatum)
Written by: Buster Neilson, District Veterinarian, Tweed-Lismore RLPB
All parts of the plant contain high levels of hypericin which is photodynamic. If enough hypericin accumulates in the skin photosensitization occurs with resultant skin damage ... Read More

Miscellaneous Plant Poisonings

Lead paper: Significant miscellaneous poisonings
Written by: Chris Bourke, Principal Research Scientist (Poisonous Plants), Orange Agricultural Institute, Orange NSW
Miscellaneous poisonous plant problems are potentially a confusing array of unrelated syndromes. To simplify the situation I have subdivided them into mycotoxin and non-mycotoxin associated problems and then grouped each one ... Read More

Brassica toxicity
Written by: John Evers, District Veterinarian, Young RLPB
When you consider the range of toxic compounds identified in these plants it is not surprising that problems occur. However, in my experience the specific cause of these mortalities ... Read More

Ergot of rye (Claviceps purpurea)
Written by: Luzia Rast, District Veterinarian, Gundagai RLPB
While he was attempting to move them to the yards, they became very agitated, disorientated, started salivating and grouped under trees and were hard to move ... Read More

Fern intoxication of sheep and cattle
Written by: Bruce Watt, District Veterinarian, Condobolin RLPB and Erika Bunker, Pathologist, NSW DPI
Of the 107 genera of ferns in Australia, at least five contain species which are toxic. The most significant are Cheilanthes (Rock and Mulga ferns), Pteridium (Bracken ferns) and Marsilea (the Nardoos) ... Read More

Endophytes of fescues and perennial ryegrass
Written by: Chris Bourke, Principal Research Scientist (Poisonous Plants), Orange Agricultural Institute, Orange NSW
Endophytes are fungi that live inside plants, frequently grasses. They are transmitted in the seeds of the infected plant. There is no sign of their presence when the plant is examined with the naked eye ... Read More

Oxalate poisoning
Written by: Samantha Yorke, Veterinary Officer, Dareton
Oxalate ingestion produces several syndromes depending on the type of oxalate found in the plant. Oxalates can be found as water soluble oxalates, or can combine with calcium ... Read More

Oxalate toxicity
Written by: Paul Freeman, District Veterinarian, Casino RLPB
There are two main categories of poisoning due to oxalates in plant - problems associated with soluble oxalates, and problems associated with insoluble oxalates ... Read More

Vetch toxicosis (Vicia villosa ssp dasycarpa)
Written by: Andrew Thompson, District Veterinarian, Northern Slopes RLPB
Intoxication may be manifest in a number of other syndromes. The seeds and vegetative portion have been reported to contain cyanogenetic glycosides as well as containing substances which induce toxic hepatitis ... Read More


Site contents and design Copyright 2006-2024©