Stories of Livestock Poisoning, Part I

By following a country vet on a day's work, you'll learn the sources and symptoms of livestock poisoning, including salt poisoning in pigs, algae poisoning in cattle, and lead poisoning in goats.

| August/September 1999


If your livestock are acting strangely, they may have come across a common toxin.


5:10 A.M.: A series of piercing beeps interrupted what most certainly was a wonderful dream. Dazed, I leapt at once for alarm clock and phone before realizing that the offending dream wrecker was my pager. The number belonged to Bill Smithfield. He'd gone out to his pond to find three of his cows down.

"I'll be there in about 20 minutes," I managed.

Accidental poisonings of livestock and pets on the farm are frequent and not altogether surprising occurrences, given all of the potential toxins that are stored, distributed and discarded on the typical farmstead. Pesticides, herbicides and farm chemicals are infamous for their potential toxicity to animals and people, but even the most organic farms may harbor an arsenal of insidious poisons (see Sources and Symptoms of Animal Poisoning for more information).

In Part I of this two-part series, we'll take a close-up look at on-the-farm poisonings caused by some unexpected toxins. Next (see Stories of Livestock Poisoning, Part II), we'll cover some of the more common poisonings resulting from mishandling pesticides, herbicides and farm chemicals.

So read on and ride along for the first half of a very long day in the life of a country veterinarian.

5:25 A.M.: As my truck pounded along the washboard road toward the Smithfield ranch, I dug out an old Clif Bar from the glove compartment. With no time for breakfast, it'd have to do. I washed it down with a few gulps of coffee from my large thermos.

6/3/2013 6:07:16 AM

Animal poisoning is really verya bad thing specially in cattle.

Is their any way to protect cattle form Poisoning. I am always worried by this becasue my business depend upon this.

mother earth news fair


Oct. 21-22, 2017
Topeka, KS.

More than 150 workshops, great deals from more than 200 exhibitors, off-stage demos, inspirational keynotes, and great food!