This is an image of twin lambs that are deformed due to a selenium toxicity in the dam. Note the abnormal appearance of the front legs, which are malformed and have swollen joints. This is called alkali disease or chronic selenosis, and it occurs over a long period of time. Clinical signs of this disease include anorexia, lack of thriftiness, atrophy and cirrhosis of the liver, chronic nephritis, myocardium necrosis, loss of vitality, alopecia, lameness, and elongated hooves. Sheep do not usually exhibit any foot or wool lesions, but reproduction is affected. Chronic selenium toxicity is not limited to just grazing animals, but this seems true for the acute form, which is called “blind staggers,” and is seen in grazing animals that develop selenium poisoning from plants that store excess selenium.

Selenium toxicity, lambs

Credit: H. E. Eppson, University of Wyoming

Digital Credit: Melissa Foster

Publisher: None

Rights: Image Gallery user terms

Description: This is an image of twin lambs that are deformed due to a selenium toxicity in the dam. Note the abnormal appearance of the front legs, which are malformed and have swollen joints. This is called alkali disease or chronic selenosis, and it occurs over a long period of time. Clinical signs of this disease include anorexia, lack of thriftiness, atrophy and cirrhosis of the liver, chronic nephritis, myocardium necrosis, loss of vitality, alopecia, lameness, and elongated hooves. Sheep do not usually exhibit any foot or wool lesions, but reproduction is affected. Chronic selenium toxicity is not limited to just grazing animals, but this seems true for the acute form, which is called “blind staggers,” and is seen in grazing animals that develop selenium poisoning from plants that store excess selenium.

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