Fiddleneck (Common name)

General Poisoning Notes:

Fiddleneck (Amsinckia intermedia) is an introduced plant found in parts of western Canada. Ingestion can cause severe diseases in horses, swine, and cattle. Hepatic cirrhosis results from ingesting the seeds of the plant. The symptoms are termed walking disease in horses and are known as hard liver disease in swine and cattle. These diseases were present mainly in California and the Pacific Northwest. With the advent of herbicides, the problems have mostly disappeared (Woolsey et al. 1952, Cheeke and Schull 1985).

References:

  • Cheeke, P. R., Shull, L. R. 1985. Natural toxicants in feeds and poisonous plants. AVI Publishing Company, Inc., Westport, Conn., USA. 492 pp.
  • Kennedy, P. C. 1957. Symposium on poisoning-part 2. Case 16-Tarweed poisoning in swine. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc., 130: 305-306.
  • McCulloch, E. C. 1940. Hepatic cirrhosis of horses, swine and cattle due to the ingestion of seeds of the tarweed, Amsinckia intermedia. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc., 96: 5-18.
  • Woolsey, J. H., Jasper, D. E., Cordy, D. R., Christensen, J. F. 1952. Two outbreaks of hepatic cirrhosis in swine in California, with evidence incriminating the tarweed, Amsinckia intermedia. Vet. Med. Small Anim. Clin., 47: 55-58.

Nomenclature:

Scientific Name:
Amsinckia intermedia Fisch and Mey.
Vernacular name(s):
fiddleneck
Scientific family name:
Boraginaceae
Vernacular family name:
borage

Go to ITIS*ca for more taxonomic information on: Amsinckia intermedia

References:

  • Agriculture Quebec. 1975. Noms des maladies des plantes du Canada/ Names of plant diseases in Canada, Quebec City, Que., Canada. 288 pp.
  • Alex, J. F., Cayouette, R., Mulligan, G. A. 1980. Common and botanical names of weeds in Canada/ Noms populaire et scientifiques des plantes nuisibles du Canada. Revised. Agric. Can. Publ., Ottawa, Ont., Canada. 132 pp.
  • Bailey, L. H., Bailey, E. Z. 1976. Hortus third. Revised. MacMillan, New York, N.Y., USA. 1290 pp.
  • Scoggan, H. J. 1978, 1979. The flora of Canada. Nat. Mus. Nat. Sci. (Ottawa) Publ. Bot. 7(1)-7(4). 1711 pp.
  • Van Wijk, H. L. 1911. A dictionary of plant names. Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, The Netherlands. 1444 pp.
  • Victorin, M. 1964. Flore Laurentienne. 2nd ed. Univ. Montreal, Montreal, Que., Canada. 952 pp.

Geographic Information

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • Saskatchewan
  • Yukon Territory

References:

  • Bailey, L. H., Bailey, E. Z. 1976. Hortus third. Revised. MacMillan, New York, N.Y., USA. 1290 pp.
  • Boivin, B. 1966, 1967. Énumération des plantes du Canada. Provencheria 6. Nat. Can. (Que.) 93: 253-274; 371-437; 583-646; 989-1063. 94: 131-157; 471-528; 625-655.

Image or Illustration

Images: Fiddleneck - Google search

Toxic Parts:

  • seeds

References:

  • McCulloch, E. C. 1940. Hepatic cirrhosis of horses, swine and cattle due to the ingestion of seeds of the tarweed, Amsinckia intermedia. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc., 96: 5-18.
  • Woolsey, J. H., Jasper, D. E., Cordy, D. R., Christensen, J. F. 1952. Two outbreaks of hepatic cirrhosis in swine in California, with evidence incriminating the tarweed, Amsinckia intermedia. Vet. Med. Small Anim. Clin., 47: 55-58.

Notes on Toxic Plant Chemicals:

The pyrrolizidine alkaloids of fiddleneck cause hepatic cirrhosis in cattle, swine, and horses, mainly a result of the presence of the seeds in grain and grain screenings fed to livestock. With modern herbicides, the problem has disappeared (Cheeke and Schull 1985).

Toxic Plant Chemicals:

  • echiumine
  • intermedine
  • lycopsamine

References:

  • Cheeke, P. R., Shull, L. R. 1985. Natural toxicants in feeds and poisonous plants. AVI Publishing Company, Inc., Westport, Conn., USA. 492 pp.

Animals/Human Poisoning:

Note: When an animal is listed without additional information, the literature (as of 1993) contained no detailed explanation.

Cattle

General Symptoms of Poisoning:

References:

  • McCulloch, E. C. 1940. Hepatic cirrhosis of horses, swine and cattle due to the ingestion of seeds of the tarweed, Amsinckia intermedia. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc., 96: 5-18.

Horses

General Symptoms of Poisoning:

References:

  • McCulloch, E. C. 1940. Hepatic cirrhosis of horses, swine and cattle due to the ingestion of seeds of the tarweed, Amsinckia intermedia. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc., 96: 5-18.

Swine

General Symptoms of Poisoning:

References:

  • Kennedy, P. C. 1957. Symposium on poisoning-part 2. Case 16-Tarweed poisoning in swine. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc., 130: 305-306.
  • McCulloch, E. C. 1940. Hepatic cirrhosis of horses, swine and cattle due to the ingestion of seeds of the tarweed, Amsinckia intermedia. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc., 96: 5-18.
  • Woolsey, J. H., Jasper, D. E., Cordy, D. R., Christensen, J. F. 1952. Two outbreaks of hepatic cirrhosis in swine in California, with evidence incriminating the tarweed Amsinckia intermedia. Vet. Med. Small Anim. Clin., 47: 55-58.

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