|Pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus)|
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ALSO KNOWN AS:
DANGEROUS PARTS OF PLANT:
Animals need to consume pigweed in fairly significant quantities over several days before signs appear. Typically, onset of signs is 3 to 7 days from the onset of ingestion. Animals will usually avoid pigweed if there are better forages available. Common incidences of poisonings have occurred when swine have been raised in confinement and are then turned out into a pigweed-infested pasture in the late summer to early fall. Under these circumstances, the swine consume large amounts of the plant quickly, with 5-90% of the animals becoming affected, with 75% or greater mortality among the affected animals. Modern management practices have largely eliminated this type of poisoning, but it can still occur. In cattle, pigweed toxicosis resembles oak toxicosis.
In affected animals, early signs include weakness, trembling and incoordination. This progresses to an inability to stand and paralysis, yet the animals may still be alert and able to eat. Near the end of the clinical course, the affected animals may go into a coma, and have edema under the skin of the abdomen and the legs, have a bloated abdomen, and die. The course of the disease is approximately 48 hours and is primarily consistent with kidney failure. Cases where animals consume smaller amounts of plants over long time periods have not been well studied, but this is also believed to cause toxicology problems.
Treatment with herbicides may render pigweed even more palatable, therefore make sure all treated plants are dead prior to introducing animals.
CLASS OF SIGNS:
SAFETY IN PREPARED FEEDS: