Nitrate intoxication due to ingestion of pigweed red-root (Amaranthus retroflexus) in cattle

Document Type : Scientific report


1 Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

2 Private Veterinarian, Mashhad, Iran


Nitrate toxicosis associated with consumption of pigweed red-root (Amaranthus retroflexus) was
diagnosed in a small herd of cattle in the suburb of Mashhad, northeastern Iran. The clinical signs were
ruminal tympany, incoordination, tachycardia, dyspnea, head pressing, aggressive movements and jugular
distension. Seven animals including 3 young calves and 4 cows died of intoxication; other affected cattle
were treated by intravenous administration of epinephrine and ascorbic acid. No further mortality was
observed after the treatment. One of the treated cows aborted a 6-month-old fetus more than three days after
intoxication. Two samples of suspected plants were analysed for nitrate. The nitrate content of those plants
was 6.6% and 10.4% in dry matter