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Joan, Vet Technician
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 18662
Experience:  Vet Tech for 35+yrs. Small Animals and Fish
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Could eating cucumbers make a cow sixk enough to die We ...

Customer Question

Could eating cucumbers make a cow sixk enough to die? We have five cows and I threw about twenty large cucumbers over in the pasture, they were freshly picked, just too large to use for canning. We had a 10 month old heifer die last week after being sick four days. She was a little listless and foamed a little at the mouth the first day we noticed her not feeling good. She stayed away from the other cows. The end of the fourth day she was lying in the creek, we didnt want her to drown so pulled her up enough on the bank but she was gone the next morning. My husband found nightshade in the pasture but he picks it as he sees it and only in the last couple weeks picked maybe a peck and we have twenty acres.............the other cows are fine along with the horse. Thank you.
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Joan replied 10 years ago.


I am sorry for the loss of your cow, but there is currently no data indicating that cucumbers have toxic potential to pets, or other animals. However, it is important to keep in mind that even vegetables or plants considered to be nontoxic can produce minor stomach upset if ingested. It is however possible she did get some type of poison, from the description you have given. The fact that your husband found Nightshade in the pasture, she may have been attracted enough to eat some of it to cause a severe reaction. Just eating some of the berries may have been enough to push the cow over the edge. With out a Necropsy you may never know for sure, but I would say that the cucumbers did not cause the problem. Joan Jav917

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Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Thanks for the info..............I wanted to be sure about the cucumbers. My husband made up his mind already but I wanted to ask for sure about the nightshade. The info I looked up indicated that a cow rarely will go past a taste of the berries if they have plenty to eat and they do. They have plenty of pasture, are feed daily ground feed with minerals, we have salt and mineral blocks and keep hay in the feeder so they weren't hungry. We didn't go with autopsy due to the cost and the other cows are fine. Thank you for replying. Have a good day.
Expert:  Joan replied 10 years ago.


I undersatnd the cost of Necropsies are very costly. Even on small animals you are looking at $300+ The problem with Nightsahed is the berries are swet to the taste and even three little berries can cause an agonizing death. I think you can rest that it was not the cucumbers. If I have helped to put your mind at ease I would appreciate positive feedback at your convience. Thank-you for the accept. Joan Jav917