Matamata Veterinary Services | Latest News

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Poa Aquatica Poisonings – Be on alert!

April 17, 2013

A recent outbreak of sudden death in cows has given us the need to remind farmers of the devastating effects of Poa Aquatica, also known as swamp grass.

This tall grass-like plant stands up to 2.5m high in wet areas, swamps, pools and on the edges of waterways.

The plant contains cyanide-type toxins and becomes incredibly poisonous when growing fast particularly following a period of retarded growth, such as the drought.

Poisonings are usually associated with hungry cattle that need to eat approximately 6-8kg DM for it to be fatal.

Although there is an antidote, death is very quick!

The larger the quantity ingested, the less time there is to treat and possibly save the cow.

If you have this grass on your property we urge you to fence off these areas and restrict access to it for at least the next few months.

If you have any questions, or are concerned that this may already be an issue for you, please contact the clinic.