In September 1988, 100 of 300 yearling dairy heifers developed blindness, tachypnea, foaming at the mouth, chewing, and facial fasciculations. Twenty-five animals died. Lead toxicosis was diagnosed based on the clinical signs and the presence of excessive concentrations of lead in whole blood, liver, kidney, and rumen contents of affected animals. The source of the lead was sudan grass silage that had been contaminated by soil that contained up to 77,000 mg/kg of lead. Lead concentrations were determined approximately 7 months after the acute episode of lead toxicosis. Whole blood and milk samples were obtained from heifers and a group of control cows 2 weeks prior to (blood only), at the time of, and 2 and 4 weeks after freshening. No lead was found in any of the milk samples (detection limit = 0.055 mg/liter). Animals that had been severely affected by lead toxicosis experienced a transient increase in whole blood lead concentrations at freshening that was not high enough to be considered toxic. No similar increases in blood lead were observed for control cows or heifers that had experienced milder toxicosis. These findings suggest that at parturition lead is mobilized into the blood of cattle previously exposed to excessive lead.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Journal of veterinary diagnostic investigation : official publication of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, Inc|
|State||Published - Jul 1990|
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