Veterinary advice should be sought before applying any treatment or vaccine.

Milkweed poisoning is caused by consumption of Asclepias species. Milkweeds contain toxic cardiac glycosides. The plants are normally avoided by goats, except when forage is scarce, during droughts, or if baled into hay. Lethal doses of milkweed are 0.25% to 2% of the goat's body weight. Clinical signs usually develop after a few hours following ingestion. Death tends to follow after a day or two following onset of signs.

Symptoms

Dilated pupils
Bloat
Weakness
Depression
Staggering gait
Dyspnea
Intermittent tetanic convulsions
Coma
Death

Diagnosis

  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Physical exam
  • Forage testing

Treatment

Supportive care

Prevention

  • Control of weeds in pastures

Article Reference

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