Merck Manual

Please confirm that you are a health care professional

honeypot link

Sorghum Poisoning (Sudan Grass Poisoning)


Barry R. Blakley

, DVM, PhD, University of Saskatchewan

Last full review/revision Oct 2020 | Content last modified Oct 2020

Sorghum poisoning is seen in horses, primarily in the southwestern US and Australia, after they have grazed hybrid Sudan pastures for weeks to months. The spinal cord softens and nerves degenerate in the spinal cord and brain. Also See also Cyanide Poisoning Cyanide Poisoning Cyanide kills tissues by lowering their ability to use oxygen. (Also see Sorghum Poisoning (Sudan Grass Poisoning).) Cyanides are found in plants, fumigants (such as disinfectants), soil sterilizers... read more .

Sorghum poisoning is characterized by lack of coordination of the hind end, inflammation and infection of the bladder, inability to control urination (incontinence), and loss of hair on the hindlegs due to urine scald. The lack of coordination may progress to limb paralysis. Reproductive problems, including deformed foals, can be seen. Affected horses often die from inflammation of the kidneys. Treatment with antibiotics may help, but a full recovery is rare.

For More Information

Others also read
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Test your knowledge
Neoplasia of the Eye and Associated Structures
Squamous cell carcinoma is a common neoplasm in several species. Ocular squamous cell carcinoma is most common in animals with light pigmentation around the eyes, because sun exposure is one of several predisposing factors. This tumor is common in each of the following species EXCEPT:
Become a Pro at using our website 

Also of Interest

Become a Pro at using our website