Acorns pose toxic threat to WV livestock - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Acorns pose toxic threat to WV livestock

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West Virginia Agriculture Commissioner Gus Douglass is warning farmers about the potential risk that acorns pose for livestock.

Douglass said cattle, horses, goats and sheep can develop serious health problems, including kidney failure, if they eat too many acorns.

Veterinarians say livestock are more likely to eat large amounts of acorns if there's a short supply of other food sources. "The primary treatment is prevention and that's to get these animals out of these fields where the acorns are and where the oak trees are, until the deer and turkey have time to get them up so they will be consumed. Probably in another three or four weeks, the risk will be gone," said Robert Marshall, a veterinarian in Kanawha County.

Symptoms of acorn toxicity include loss of appetite, depression, dehydration, and constipation.