Pasture-Associated Poisoning in Grazing Animals

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Veterinary Clinical Studies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 6031

Special Issue Editor


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Functional Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Fundamental and Applied Research for Animals & Health (FARAH), University of Liège, Sart Tilman, 4000 Liege, Belgium
Interests: equine medicine; physiology; toxicology; prevention of plant poisoning; study of muscle disorders; study of mitochondrial function using high-resolution respirometry

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Grasslands consist of a variety of plants, within which poisonous species can be found. Herbivores neglect most poisonous plants for various reasons, including a lack of palatability. However, some poisonous plants or fruits are not rejected, while others have their repellence reduced by conditions such as drought or withering. Among toxic plants, invasive and exotic species are a major threat to grazing animals. There is certainly a need to update our knowledge of pasture-associated poisoning.

Circumstances of intoxication, signs of poisoning, clinical management, diagnosis, identification of toxins and their metabolites, toxic doses, and toxic mechanisms are all focal topics of this Special Issue. This Special Issue focuses mainly on plants as a source of poisoning, but will welcome other subjects related to toxic manifestations and which are to be considered in the differential diagnosis of intoxication occurring at pasture (equine grass disease, stinging caterpillars, etc.). Additionally, studies describing/validating tools to prevent, assess, and objectify the risks of intoxication are also very welcomed in this Issue.

Dr. Dominique-Marie Votion
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • cattle
  • horses
  • ruminants
  • plants
  • poisoning
  • toxic/toxicity
  • diagnosis
  • physiopathology
  • therapy
  • prevention

Published Papers (6 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

16 pages, 6035 KiB  
Article
Overview of Cyanide Poisoning in Cattle from Sorghum halepense and S. bicolor Cultivars in Northwest Italy
by Stefano Giantin, Alberico Franzin, Fulvio Brusa, Vittoria Montemurro, Elena Bozzetta, Elisabetta Caprai, Giorgio Fedrizzi, Flavia Girolami and Carlo Nebbia
Animals 2024, 14(5), 743; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14050743 - 27 Feb 2024
Viewed by 641
Abstract
Sorghum plants naturally produce dhurrin, a cyanogenic glycoside that may be hydrolysed to cyanide, resulting in often-lethal toxicoses. Ruminants are particularly sensitive to cyanogenic glycosides due to the active role of rumen microbiota in dhurrin hydrolysis. This work provides an overview of a [...] Read more.
Sorghum plants naturally produce dhurrin, a cyanogenic glycoside that may be hydrolysed to cyanide, resulting in often-lethal toxicoses. Ruminants are particularly sensitive to cyanogenic glycosides due to the active role of rumen microbiota in dhurrin hydrolysis. This work provides an overview of a poisoning outbreak that occurred in 5 farms in Northwest Italy in August 2022; a total of 66 cows died, and many others developed acute toxicosis after being fed on either cultivated (Sorghum bicolor) or wild Sorghum (Sorghum halepense). Clinical signs were recorded, and all cows received antidotal/supportive therapy. Dead animals were subjected to necropsy, and dhurrin content was determined in Sorghum specimens using an LC–MS/MS method. Rapid onset, severe respiratory distress, recumbency and convulsions were the main clinical features; bright red blood, a bitter almond smell and lung emphysema were consistently observed on necropsy. The combined i.v. and oral administration of sodium thiosulphate resulted in a rapid improvement of clinical signs. Dhurrin concentrations corresponding to cyanide levels higher than the tolerated threshold of 200 mg/kg were detected in sorghum specimens from 4 out of 5 involved farms; thereafter, such levels declined, reaching tolerable concentrations in September–October. Feeding cattle with wild or cultivated Sorghum as green fodder is a common practice in Northern Italy, especially in summer. However, care should be taken in case of adverse climatic conditions, such as severe drought and tropical temperatures (characterising summer 2022), which are reported to increase dhurrin synthesis and storage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pasture-Associated Poisoning in Grazing Animals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 8960 KiB  
Article
Retrospective Study of 25 Cases of Acorn Intoxication Colitis in Horses between 2011 and 2018 and Factors Associated with Non-Survival
by Tanguy Hermange, Basile Ruault and Anne Couroucé
Animals 2024, 14(4), 599; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14040599 - 12 Feb 2024
Viewed by 564
Abstract
The aim of this study is to describe clinical data associated with acorn intoxication and to find variables associated with survival. Data from horses presented at CISCO-ONIRIS from 2011 to 2018 with a diagnosis of acorn intoxication were included. Diagnosis was based on [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to describe clinical data associated with acorn intoxication and to find variables associated with survival. Data from horses presented at CISCO-ONIRIS from 2011 to 2018 with a diagnosis of acorn intoxication were included. Diagnosis was based on the following: season, the presence of acorns in the environment, clinical and hemato-biochemical parameters suggestive of a digestive/renal disease, the co-morbidity of companion animals, and post-mortem findings. Statistical analysis was completed using Student’s t-test for mean comparisons and a Chi-square test for group comparisons (p < 0.05). A total of 25 horses were included, and seasonality suggests that the intoxication may vary from year to year. Clinical signs associated with acorn intoxication were signs of circulatory shock (lethargy, tachycardia, abnormal mucous membrane, tachypnea), digestive signs (diarrhea, ileus, colic), and abnormal temperature. Clinical pathological findings included increased hematocrit, WBC, creatinine, BUN, GGT, AST, CK and decreased albumin. Overall, 44% (11/25) of horses survived. The majority (13/14) of non-survivors died, or were euthanized, during the first 48 h. Findings significantly associated with non-survival were age, heart rate, hemorrhagic diarrhea, ileus, hematocrit, creatinine, blood lactate, and thickness of the colon wall at ultrasonography. This study provides equine practitioners with valuable prognostic information in cases of acorn intoxication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pasture-Associated Poisoning in Grazing Animals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 3140 KiB  
Article
Oak Acorn Poisoning in Cattle during Autumn 2022: A Case Series and Review of the Current Knowledge
by Justine Eppe, Calixte Bayrou, Hélène Casalta, Dominique Cassart, Linde Gille, Margot Stipulanti, Jérôme Versyp and Arnaud Sartelet
Animals 2023, 13(16), 2678; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13162678 - 20 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1384
Abstract
Oak poisoning is a known intoxication in grazing animals, but is slightly described in the literature. This case report describes 7 cattle from 3 different farms admitted to the clinic for ruminants of the University of Liège for suspected acorn poisoning in the [...] Read more.
Oak poisoning is a known intoxication in grazing animals, but is slightly described in the literature. This case report describes 7 cattle from 3 different farms admitted to the clinic for ruminants of the University of Liège for suspected acorn poisoning in the autumn of 2022. The clinical signs were, anorexia, apathy with polyuria with low density. Further investigations led to the diagnosis of renal failure (blood urea 162 ± 88 mg/dL; blood creatinine 12 ± 4 mg/L). Supportive treatment, based on infusions (NaCl 0.9%) and electrolyte rebalancing, was administered and renal values were assessed every 24–48 h. Of these animals, 5/7 were euthanized. At necropsy, digestive erosions and ulcerations, oedema and renal hemorrhages, between the pyloric/caliceal cavity and the medulla were observed. Histopathological examination revealed necrosis of the renal tubules. The renal values of the two remaining animals were reduced, their general condition improved, and they were discharged. Acorn poisoning is a serious disease with no specific antidote or characteristic symptoms. Animals are identified as sick too late, when renal failure is already established. Farmers should be made more aware in order to prevent exposure, especially in years when acorns are abundant. Furthermore, there is no antidote for this intoxication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pasture-Associated Poisoning in Grazing Animals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 3519 KiB  
Article
Factors Affecting Toxic and Essential Trace Element Concentrations in Cow’s Milk Produced in the State of Pernambuco, Brazil
by Emanuel Felipe de Oliveira Filho, Marta López-Alonso, Guilherme Vieira Marcolino, Pierre Castro Soares, Carlos Herrero-Latorre, Carla Lopes de Mendonça, Nivaldo de Azevedo Costa and Marta Miranda
Animals 2023, 13(15), 2465; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13152465 - 30 Jul 2023
Viewed by 953
Abstract
The aim of this study was to provide information on the levels of toxic (Cd and Pb) and essential (Cu, Fe, and Zn) elements in cow’s milk produced in the State of Pernambuco (Brazil). A total of 142 samples of raw milk were [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to provide information on the levels of toxic (Cd and Pb) and essential (Cu, Fe, and Zn) elements in cow’s milk produced in the State of Pernambuco (Brazil). A total of 142 samples of raw milk were collected, and the concentrations of essential and toxic elements were determined using inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry. In almost 30% of the samples analyzed, the Pb content exceeded the maximum level established in the Brazilian legislation (0.05 mg/L). By contrast, in all the samples, the Cd content was below the maximum allowable level (0.02 mg/L). The essential trace elements Cu, Fe, and Zn were generally present at lower concentrations than reported in other studies and can be considered within the deficient range for cow’s milk. Statistical and chemometric procedures were used to evaluate the main factors influencing the metal concentrations (proximity to major roads, presence of effluents, and milking method). The study findings demonstrate that the proximity of the farms to major roads influences the concentrations of Cd, Pb, and Cu and that this is the main factor explaining the Pb content of milk. In addition, the presence of effluents influenced the concentrations of Cu, while no relationship between the metal content and the milking method was observed. Thus, in accordance with the study findings, the consumption of cow’s milk produced in the region can be considered a risk to public health due to the high concentrations of Pb and the low concentrations of other essential minerals such as Cu, Zn, and Fe in some of the milk samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pasture-Associated Poisoning in Grazing Animals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

10 pages, 268 KiB  
Article
Tissue Specific Distribution and Activation of Sapindaceae Toxins in Horses Suffering from Atypical Myopathy
by Johannes Sander, Michael Terhardt, Nils Janzen, Benoît Renaud, Caroline-Julia Kruse, Anne-Christine François, Clovis P. Wouters, François Boemer and Dominique-Marie Votion
Animals 2023, 13(15), 2410; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13152410 - 26 Jul 2023
Viewed by 714
Abstract
Equine atypical myopathy is caused by hypoglycin A (HGA) and methylenecyclopropylglycine (MCPrG), the known protoxins of sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus). Various tissues from five atypical myopathy cases were analyzed but only HGA was found. Whether deamination of MCPrG has already occurred [...] Read more.
Equine atypical myopathy is caused by hypoglycin A (HGA) and methylenecyclopropylglycine (MCPrG), the known protoxins of sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus). Various tissues from five atypical myopathy cases were analyzed but only HGA was found. Whether deamination of MCPrG has already occurred in the intestine as the first stage of metabolization has not been investigated. Activation of the protoxins to methylenecyclopropylacetyl (MCPA)-CoA and methylenecyclopropylformyl (MCPF)-CoA, respectively, occurred mainly in the skeletal muscles, as evidenced by very high concentrations of MCPA-carnitine and MCPF-carnitine in this tissue. Inhibition of the acyl-CoA dehydrogenases of short- and medium-chain as well as branched-chain fatty acids by the toxins led to a strong increase in the corresponding acylcarnitines, again preferentially in skeletal muscles. An accumulation of the long-chain acylcarnitines beyond the level of the control samples could not be detected in the tissues. As a high amount of HGA was always found unmetabolized in the organs, we speculate that targeting the interruption of further metabolization might be a way to stop the progression of intoxication. Inhibition of the mitochondrial branched-chain amino acid aminotransferase, i.e., the first enzyme responsible for the activation of sycamore maple protoxins, could be a therapeutic approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pasture-Associated Poisoning in Grazing Animals)

Review

Jump to: Research

26 pages, 1150 KiB  
Review
Do Poisonous Plants in Pastures Communicate Their Toxicity? Meta-Study and Evaluation of Poisoning Cases in Central Europe
by Sabine Aboling
Animals 2023, 13(24), 3795; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13243795 - 08 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1105
Abstract
One of the possible roles of secondary plant metabolites, including toxins, is facilitating plant–animal communication. Lethal cases of pasture poisoning show that the message is not always successfully conveyed. As the focus of poisoning lies in the clinical aspects, the external circumstances of [...] Read more.
One of the possible roles of secondary plant metabolites, including toxins, is facilitating plant–animal communication. Lethal cases of pasture poisoning show that the message is not always successfully conveyed. As the focus of poisoning lies in the clinical aspects, the external circumstances of pasture poisoning are widely unknown. To document poisoning conditions in cattle, sheep, goats, and horses on pastures and to compile a checklist of plants involved in either poisoning or co-existence (zero poisoning), published case reports were evaluated as primary sources. The number of affected animal individuals was estimated within abundance classes from 0 to more than 100. The checklist of poisonous plants comprised 52 taxa. Of these, 13 taxa were deemed safe (no reference was found indicating poisoning), 11 taxa were associated with evidence-based zero poisoning (positive list), and 28 taxa were associated with poisoning (negative list). Nine plant taxa caused poisoning in more than 100 animal individuals. Zero poisoning accounted for 40% and poisoning accounted for 60% of a total of 85 cases. Poisoning was most often associated with a limited choice of feed (24.7%), followed by overgrazing (12.9%), seasonally scarce feed (10.6%), and co-ingestion of grass (4.7%). Hunger interferes with plant–animal co-existence, while zero poisoning improves it. In conclusion, poisonous plants in pastures may communicate their toxicity if the animals have enough alternative feed plants. An individual animal might utterly perceive the communication of toxicity by the plant species but be forced to ignore the message owing to a limited choice of feed options. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pasture-Associated Poisoning in Grazing Animals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop