Hyperthermia in cattle associated with tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea)

Hyperthermia in cattle associated with tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea)
Peer reviewed

Abstract

In recent years there have been several reports from the United States of America describing a heat stress syndrome in cattle associated with the consumption of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea). One of the most comprehensive reports was in 1982 when Hammond et al. described a condition in cattle they called “tall fescue summer toxicosis.” This was characterised by increased rectal temperature, increased respiration rate and excessive salivation. A syndrome of hyperthermia has occurred in New Zealand for at least seven years. The first published report described cases occurring in the Bay of Plenty and called the disease “idiopathic bovine hyperthermia” (IBH). By early 1984 it became apparent that bovine hyperthermia was prevalent north of Auckland City and was causing concern to many famers and veterinarians. We carried out an investigation in April 1984 and visited seventeen herds in five counties for the purpose of collecting information on the diesease and specimens for laboratory examination. These herds were reported to us by veterinary practitioners as herds known to have affected cattle. Eleven of the herds were in Rodney County, three in Whangarei County and one each in Otamatea, Hobson and Bay of Islands Counties…

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