Claviceps paspali toxicosis, in animals, poisoning by eating fodder (hay, grasses) contaminated with sclerotia of the fungus Claviceps paspali Stevens and Hall; characterized chiefly by impairment of the central nervous system.
Claviceps toxicosis occurs in the United States, southern Africa, Australia, and the USSR along the Caucasian and Trans-Caucasian coasts. The condition affects donkeys, horses, sheep, cattle and, less frequently, swine, both pastured and stabled. The principal clinical symptoms for all species are shaking of the head, muscular tremor, ataxia, convulsions, and paralysis. Death occurs after five or six days. Autopsy reveals congestive hyperemia with hemorrhages in various organs and tissues, degeneration of the parenchymatous organs, and catarrhal gastroenteritis.
In regions where the fungus is prevalent the hay should be harvested during ear formation and at the beginning of blossoming. Plowing the fields again in the fall helps destroy any sclerotia that have fallen to the ground.
N. A. SPESIVTSEVA