Looking for lead in all sorts of places

By Connie Orcutt • Published: October 1st, 2016
Category: Animal Airwaves

You’ve probably heard of lead poisoning in small animals and children. But did you know it’s a problem in cattle too?

In some areas, lead toxicity is the most common poisoning in cattle. And it’s frequently fatal, so it pays for you to know how to prevent it.

If you find a dead cow or calf, lead should be on your list of suspects. Before death, lead-poisoned cattle might have a staggering gait because of blindness or other neurologic problems. Affected animals eventually have seizures and aren’t able to stand.

Young calves are most at risk because of their curiosity. They’re apt to lick objects that other cattle wouldn’t—like car batteries, linoleum or caulking, which are common sources of lead. And keep in mind that rainstorms can uncover objects you never even knew were around.

So look for lead before it finds your cattle.