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Mycotoxicoses in Domestic Animals

Mycotoxicoses in Domestic Animals


Toxins (When Known)

Fungi or Molds

Regions Where Reported

Contaminated Toxic Foodstuff

Animals Affected

Signs and Lesions



Aspergillus flavus, A parasiticus

Widespread (warmer climatic zones)

Moldy peanuts, soybeans, cottonseeds, rice, sorghum, corn (maize), other cereals

All poultry, pigs, cattle, sheep, dogs

Major effects in all species are slow growth and hepatotoxicosis. Also see Aflatoxicosis and see Mycotoxicoses.



Diplodia zeae

South Africa

Moldy corn (maize)

Cattle, sheep

Nervous system disorders, cold and insensitive limbs. Recovery usual on removal of source.


Ergot alkaloids

Claviceps purpurea


Seed heads of many grasses, grains

Cattle, horses, pigs, poultry

Peripheral gangrene, late gestation suppression of lactation initiation. See Ergotism.

Paspalinine and paspalitrems, tremorgens

C paspali, C cinerea


Seed heads of paspalum grasses

Cattle, horses, sheep

Acute tremors and ataxia. See Paspalum Staggers.

Estrogenism and vulvovaginitis


Fusarium graminearum Perfect state: Gibberella zeae


Moldy corn (maize) and pelleted cereal feeds, standing corn, corn silage, other grains

Pigs, cattle, sheep, poultry

Vulvovaginitis in pigs, anestrus or pseudopregnancy in mature sows, early embryonic death of swine embryos, estrogenism in cattle and sheep, reduced egg production in poultry. Also see Estrogenism and Vulvovaginitis.

Facial eczema (Pithomycotoxicosis)


Pithomyces chartarum


Toxic spores on pasture litter

Sheep, cattle, farmed deer

Also see Facial Eczema.

Fescue foot


Neotyphodium coenophialum

USA, Australia, New Zealand, Italy

Tall fescue grass (Lolium arundinacea)

Cattle, horses

Lameness, weight loss, hyperthermia, heat intolerance, dry gangrene of extremities, agalactia, thickened fetal membranes. Also see Fescue Poisoning.

Fusariotoxicosis, vomiting and feed refusal in pigs

Nonmacrocyclic trichothecenes (deoxynivalenol, T-2 toxin, diacetoxyscirpenol [DAS], many other trichothecenes)

Fusarium sporotrichioides, F culmorum, F graminearum, F nivale; other fungal species

Widespread (except for deoxynivalenol, more likely in temperate to colder climates)

Cereal crops, moldy roughage

Pigs, cattle, horses, poultry

Vomiting and feed refusal (deoxynivalenol), loss of appetite and milk production, diarrhea, staggers, skin irritation, immunosuppression; recovery (from T-2, DAS) on removal of contaminated feed. Also see Trichothecene Toxicosis.


Fumonisin B1

Fusarium verticilloides

Egypt, USA, South Africa, Greece

Moldy corn (maize)

Horses, other Equidae, pigs

Depends on degree and specific site of brain lesion. Also see Fumonisin Toxicosis.

Mycotoxic lupinosis (as distinct from alkaloid poisoning)


Phomopsis leptostromiformis


Moldy seed, pods, stubble, and haulm of several Lupinus spp affected by Phomopsis stem blight

Sheep, occasionally cattle, horses, pigs

Lassitude, inappetence, stupor, icterus, marked liver injury. Usually fatal. Also see Mycotoxic Lupinosis.

Myrotheciotoxicosis, dendrodochiotoxicosis

Macrocyclic trichothecenes (verrucarins, roridins, etc)

Myrothecium verrucaria, M roridum

Southeast Europe, former USSR

Moldy rye stubble, straw

Sheep, cattle, horses

Acute—diarrhea, respiratory distress, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, immunosuppression, death. Chronic—ulceration of GI tract, unthriftiness, gradual recovery. Also see Trichothecene Toxicosis.

Macrocyclic trichothecenes (baccharinoids)

M verrucaria


Plants of Baccharis spp that contain the toxins

Cattle, other herbivores

Epithelial necrosis of GI tract. Also see Trichothecene Toxicosis.


Ochratoxin, also citrinin

Aspergillus ochraceus and others, Penicillium viridicatum, P citrinum


Moldy barley, corn (maize), wheat

Pigs, poultry

Perirenal edema, enlarged pale kidneys with cortical cysts, and tubular degeneration and fibrosis; immunosuppression, polyuria and polydipsia.

Penicillium-associated tremorgens

Penitrem A

P crustosum, P cyclopium, P commune


Cereal grains, cheese, fruit, meats, nuts, refrigerated foods; compost

Cattle, dogs, horses, sheep

Neurotoxic signs, including continual tremors, seizures, hyperexcitability, ataxia. Vomiting and CNS signs in dogs.


P roqueforti

As above, and in silage

Perennial ryegrass staggers


Lolium perenne,Neotyphodium lolii, an endophyte fungus confined to L perenne

Australia, New Zealand, Europe, USA

Endophyte-infected ryegrass pastures

Sheep, cattle, horses, deer

Tremors, incoordination, collapse, convulsive spasms. Also see Ryegrass Toxicity.

Poultry hemorrhagic syndrome

Probably aflatoxins and rubratoxins

Probably Aspergillus flavus, A clavatus, Penicillium purpurogenum, Alternaria sp


Moldy grain and meal

Growing chickens

Depression, anorexia, no weight gain, widespread internal hemorrhages, sometimes aplastic anemia, death. See Mycotoxicoses.

Pulmonary edema, emphysema


Fusarium solani


Moldy sweet potatoes


Acute pulmonary edema, leading to interstitial pneumonia and emphysema.

Porcine pulmonary edema

Fumonisin B1 and Fumonisin B2

Fusarium verticilloides

USA, South Africa



Acute interlobular pulmonary edema and hydrothorax cause anoxia and cyanosis. Survivors may develop icterus and chronic hepatotoxicosis.

Slobbers syndrome

Slaframine (and swainsonine)

Rhizoctonia leguminicola


Black patch disease, legumes (notably red clover) eaten as forage or hay

Sheep, cattle, horses

Salivation, bloat, diarrhea, sometimes death. Recovery usual when removed from clover. Also see Slaframine Toxicosis.


Macrocyclic trichothecenes (satratoxin, roridin, verrucarin)

Stachybotrys atra (S alternans)

Former USSR, southeast Europe

Moldy roughage, other contaminated feed

Horses, cattle, sheep, pigs

Stomatitis and ulceration, anorexia, leukopenia, extensive hemorrhages in many organs, inflammation and necrosis in the gut, immunosuppression. Also see Trichothecene Toxicosis.

Sweet clover poisoning


Penicillium spp, Mucor spp, Aspergillus spp

North America

Sweet clover (Melilotus spp)

Cattle, horses, sheep

Vitamin K antagonism with coagulopathy and hemorrhage. Also see Sweet Clover Poisoning.

Tremorgen ataxia syndrome

Penitrems, verruculogen, paxilline, fumitremorgens, aflatrems, roquefortine

Penicillium crustosum, P puberulum, P verruculosum, P roqueforti, Aspergillus flavus, A fumigatus, A clavatus, and others

USA, South Africa, probably worldwide

Moldy feed; high-protein food products, even under refrigeration, eg, cream cheese, walnuts

All species, but dogs are quite susceptible

Tremors, polypnea, ataxia, collapse, convulsive spasms.