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Plants Affecting the Musculoskeletal System

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Plants Affecting the Musculoskeletal System

In:  A Guide to Plant Poisoning of Animals in North America, Knight A.P. and Walter R.G. (Eds.)
Publisher: Teton NewMedia, Jackson WY (
Internet Publisher: International Veterinary Information Service, Ithaca NY (, 2004; B0509.0101

Lameness due to musculoskeletal disorders is relatively common in animals that consume poisonous plants. Many toxic plants cause lameness through muscular weakness induced by the debilitating effects of the toxins on other organs. For example, livestock with liver disease caused by eating tansy ragwort (Senecio jacobea) eventually have a severe weight loss that results in muscle weakness and lameness. Similarly, plants affecting the brain and peripheral nervous system can affect muscle function and cause secondary lameness. Relatively few toxic plants primarily effect the musculoskeletal system, but a few such as day blooming jessamine exert their primary effect on the muscles and bones [1]. In this chapter only those plants that are a primary cause of lameness are discussed.
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Betsy, a few years ago I heard of a dog getting very sick because he had casually chewed on Foxglove (digitalis)which is a primary ingredient in the cardiac medication, Digoxin.
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