Poison (Toxins)

Death Camass(Camas)     Red Maple

Death Camas     

5-24-05    A poisonous plant that looks like grass when just coming thru the top soil has caused a couple of Alpaca deaths in Laramie WY area, and has been found and possibly eaten by animals in the Parker & Elbert, CO area.  

Check these websites
For More Information search "Deathcamus" on any search engine.


death flower closeup.jpg (26172 bytes)             

Click on pix to enlarge.   

I (webmistress) saw a less mature version of this 5-14-05 - the flowers portion on the 2 inch center stem was only about 1 inches long, and just the same pale blue-green shade as the leaves, with a slightly enlarged tip area with sort of cross hatching. 


Laramie, WY,  5-22-05

I am writing this to alert everyone about the weed, Death Camas .  We have lost 2 and almost 3 alpacas to this.  We had a male that was staggering and walking like he was drunk.  We gave him some activated charcoal and put him in the trailer and took him to CSU.  This was on a Sunday.  The next morning a female was down so we called the vet.  She thought that she just had a tummy ache.  I suggested giving her the activated charcoal, but the vet didn't think it was necessary.  That night she died.  When the vet was here we had her look at another male, whose head was shaky.  So she started asking what they might have been eating and started looking in the pasture and found a plant that she thought might be death camas, but wasn't sure.  I got on the Internet and found it, and sure enough that is what it was.  We found several plants with the tops eaten off.  Then we had a cria that died also.  It took her really fast.  Didn't see any symptoms.

We called CSU immediately and told them about the plant, so they started treating our male that we had taken there with Thiamin.  He pulled out of it and is alive and doing well.  A few other animals started showing symptoms, so we treated them with the Thiamin and they are all doing fine.  We have taken the animals off all of the pastures and have them near the barn in smaller paddocks.
My bosses have lived on their property for 8 years and do not recall ever seeing it.  With the drought conditions before, it may not have come up.  But with the wet spring and winter, it came up with a vengeance this year.  So, please!!  Everyone take a look at this web site and familiarize yourself with the plant and then comb your pastures checking for it.  Just one blade of this plant will kill anything that eats it.    
!!!!Check with your Veterinarian before any of the following treatments!!!!
If your animals are showing any symptoms at all, please call CSU as they are aware of it and know how to treat it, etc.  Make sure your vet is aware of this also and have them call CSU with any questions.  If your animals are showing symptoms, give them activated charcoal immediately.  We believe that is what saved the male that made it.  He is the only one that got the activated charcoal.  The vet did not give it to the pregnant female.  I also wrote to Dr. Anderson at Ohio State and they said that activated charcoal is part of the protocol.  Then the Thiamin shots till the symptoms subside.

August 15, 2004 (Volume 225, No. 4)

Hemolysis and Heinz body formation associated with ingestion of red maple
leaves in two alpacas

Shane F. DeWitt, DVM; Daniela Bedenice, MedVet, DACVIM; Melissa R. Mazan,

Heinz body anemia is rare in camelids and indicative of oxidative damage of

Toxicosis caused by ingestion of red maple leaves has previously only been
reported in equids.

Bovine-derived hemoglobin glutamer may be useful as an oxygen-carrying
solution in hemolytic crises in South American camelids.

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