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Toxic Myopathy in Poultry

By

Arnaud J. Van Wettere

, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVP, Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, School of Veterinary Medicine, Utah State University

Last full review/revision Feb 2020 | Content last modified Mar 2020
Topic Resources

Ionophore toxicity causes muscle damage with incoordination, leg weakness, diarrhea, dyspnea, and reduced feed intake and weight. Stunting may also occur. Type I (“red muscle” or oxidative) fibers are most susceptible, and lesions are most prominent in the leg musculature. Lesions may also be found in heart and gizzard muscle. Adult birds (chickens, turkeys, ratites) and birds with no previous exposure are more sensitive . Gross and histologic changes are similar to those of nutritional myopathy Nutritional Myopathy in Poultry Nutritional myopathy in chickens, turkeys, waterfowl, and ostriches is attributed to vitamin E/selenium deficiency. As in mammals, selenium deficiency is the most common cause. Vitamin E deficiency... read more . Ionophores promote movement of cations across the cell membrane, resulting in increased intracytoplasmic concentration of Ca2+, and cell death.

The toxic dose of ionophores is decreased if they are used in conjunction with tiamulin, erythromycin, or chloramphenicol. Salinomycin at the dose recommended for chickens (60 g/ton) is toxic for turkeys; doses >15 g/ton are toxic in turkeys. Monensin (100 g/ton) and lasalocid (100 g/ton) at the dose recommended for chickens are not toxic to turkeys.

Coffee senna (Senna occidentalis) toxicity can produce clinical signs and gross and histologic changes in muscles similar to those seen in ionophore toxicity.

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Salmonella infections in poultry occur worldwide. A few Salmonella species are highly host-adapted, whereas others are able to infect a wide range of living creatures. Which of the following Salmonella species is highly adapted to chickens and turkeys?
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