Staggers induced by consumption of perennial ryegrass in cattle and sheep from northern California

Francis D. Galey From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System-Toxicology Laboratory, (Galey, Tracy, Barr) and the Toxicology Extension Service, Department of Environmental Toxicology (Craigmill), University of California, Davis, CA 95616, The University of California Cooperative Extension Service, Agricultural Center Bldg, 5630 S Broadway, Eureka, CA 95501-6998 (Markegard), California Department of Food and Agriculture, Animal Health Branch, PO Box 3547, Eureka, CA 95502 (Peterson), and Sonoma Marin Vet Service, 201 D Street, Petaleuma, CA 94952 (O'Connor).

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Mark L. Tracy From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System-Toxicology Laboratory, (Galey, Tracy, Barr) and the Toxicology Extension Service, Department of Environmental Toxicology (Craigmill), University of California, Davis, CA 95616, The University of California Cooperative Extension Service, Agricultural Center Bldg, 5630 S Broadway, Eureka, CA 95501-6998 (Markegard), California Department of Food and Agriculture, Animal Health Branch, PO Box 3547, Eureka, CA 95502 (Peterson), and Sonoma Marin Vet Service, 201 D Street, Petaleuma, CA 94952 (O'Connor).

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Arthur L. Craigmill From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System-Toxicology Laboratory, (Galey, Tracy, Barr) and the Toxicology Extension Service, Department of Environmental Toxicology (Craigmill), University of California, Davis, CA 95616, The University of California Cooperative Extension Service, Agricultural Center Bldg, 5630 S Broadway, Eureka, CA 95501-6998 (Markegard), California Department of Food and Agriculture, Animal Health Branch, PO Box 3547, Eureka, CA 95502 (Peterson), and Sonoma Marin Vet Service, 201 D Street, Petaleuma, CA 94952 (O'Connor).

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Bradd C. Barr From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System-Toxicology Laboratory, (Galey, Tracy, Barr) and the Toxicology Extension Service, Department of Environmental Toxicology (Craigmill), University of California, Davis, CA 95616, The University of California Cooperative Extension Service, Agricultural Center Bldg, 5630 S Broadway, Eureka, CA 95501-6998 (Markegard), California Department of Food and Agriculture, Animal Health Branch, PO Box 3547, Eureka, CA 95502 (Peterson), and Sonoma Marin Vet Service, 201 D Street, Petaleuma, CA 94952 (O'Connor).

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Gary Markegard From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System-Toxicology Laboratory, (Galey, Tracy, Barr) and the Toxicology Extension Service, Department of Environmental Toxicology (Craigmill), University of California, Davis, CA 95616, The University of California Cooperative Extension Service, Agricultural Center Bldg, 5630 S Broadway, Eureka, CA 95501-6998 (Markegard), California Department of Food and Agriculture, Animal Health Branch, PO Box 3547, Eureka, CA 95502 (Peterson), and Sonoma Marin Vet Service, 201 D Street, Petaleuma, CA 94952 (O'Connor).

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Richard Peterson From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System-Toxicology Laboratory, (Galey, Tracy, Barr) and the Toxicology Extension Service, Department of Environmental Toxicology (Craigmill), University of California, Davis, CA 95616, The University of California Cooperative Extension Service, Agricultural Center Bldg, 5630 S Broadway, Eureka, CA 95501-6998 (Markegard), California Department of Food and Agriculture, Animal Health Branch, PO Box 3547, Eureka, CA 95502 (Peterson), and Sonoma Marin Vet Service, 201 D Street, Petaleuma, CA 94952 (O'Connor).

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Michael O'Connor From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System-Toxicology Laboratory, (Galey, Tracy, Barr) and the Toxicology Extension Service, Department of Environmental Toxicology (Craigmill), University of California, Davis, CA 95616, The University of California Cooperative Extension Service, Agricultural Center Bldg, 5630 S Broadway, Eureka, CA 95501-6998 (Markegard), California Department of Food and Agriculture, Animal Health Branch, PO Box 3547, Eureka, CA 95502 (Peterson), and Sonoma Marin Vet Service, 201 D Street, Petaleuma, CA 94952 (O'Connor).

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Summary

Staggers was diagnosed in sheep and cattle from the northern California coast. The diagnosis was made on the basis of history of ingestion of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) stubble, clinical signs of transient ataxia, which was aggravated by stimulation, and nearly complete recovery after removal of ryegrass as the primary forage. Morbidity was high, but death did not occur in any affected animals. The toxic endophyte, Acremonium lolii, was in most lower leaf sheaths from the ryegrass. Injection of extracts of the ryegrass from affected farms into mice induced signs of toxicosis. Additionally, ryegrass from all 3 farms contained the tremorgenic mycotoxin, lolitrem-B.

Summary

Staggers was diagnosed in sheep and cattle from the northern California coast. The diagnosis was made on the basis of history of ingestion of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) stubble, clinical signs of transient ataxia, which was aggravated by stimulation, and nearly complete recovery after removal of ryegrass as the primary forage. Morbidity was high, but death did not occur in any affected animals. The toxic endophyte, Acremonium lolii, was in most lower leaf sheaths from the ryegrass. Injection of extracts of the ryegrass from affected farms into mice induced signs of toxicosis. Additionally, ryegrass from all 3 farms contained the tremorgenic mycotoxin, lolitrem-B.

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