Sorghum poisoning is seen in horses, primarily in the southwestern US, 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 Poisoning: Cyanide Poisoning.
Sorghum poisoning is characterized by lack of coordination of the hind end, inflammation and infection of the bladder, inability to urinate, 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.
Last full review/revision July 2011 by Barry R. Blakley, DVM, PhD; Cheryl L. Waldner, DVM, PhD; Rob Bildfell, DVM, MSc, DACVP; William D. Black, MSc, DVM, PhD; Herman J. Boermans, DVM, MSc, PhD; Cecil F. Brownie, DVM, PhD, DABVT, DABT, DABFE, DABFM, FACFEI; Raymond Cahill-Morasco, MS, DVM; Keith A. Clark, DVM, PhD; Gregory F. Grauer, DVM, MS, DACVIM; Sharon M. Gwaltney-Brant, DVM, PhD, DABVT, DABT; Larry G. Hansen, PhD; Safdar A. Khan, DVM, MS, PhD, DABVT; Garrick C. M. Latch, MASc, PhD; Gavin L. Meerdink, DVM, DABVT; Lisa A. Murphy, VMD; Frederick W. Oehme, DVM, PhD; Gary D. Osweiler, DVM, MS, PhD, DABVT; Mary M. Schell, DVM; David G. Schmitz, DVM, MS, DACVIM; Norman R. Schneider, DVM, MSc, DABVT