- The most frequent cause of cyanide poisoning is ingestion of certain plants. These include arrow grass, velvet grass, young plants of Sorghum species, tapioca leaves etc.
- Signs occur within 15-20 minutes to a few hours after animals consume toxic forage.
- Excitement may be displayed initially, followed by rapid & difficult respiration, excess salivation. Mucous membranes are bright red but may become cyanotic later.
- Animals stumble/struggle and collapse within an hour.
PREVENTION & CONTROL
- Avoid feeding grasses that cause poisoning until they are 15-18 inches tall.
- Forage sorghums should be several feet tall before being used as fodder.
- Animals should be turned out to new pasture later in the day only.
- Grazing should be monitored closely during periods of environmental stress.
- Immediate veterinary help must be sought if cyanide poisoning is suspected.
- Treatment is very effective if given on time.
ANIMAL HEALTH GROUP, NATIONAL DAIRY DEVELOPMENT BOARD, ANAND