General Approach to Treating Poisoning and Toxin-associated Diseases in Cattle

Treatment in cases of poisoning / due to toxins requires immediate attention and treatment. It is essential to understand the causal poison quickly as specific antidote can be given. Along with specific, supportive therapy is essential to address the metabolic and physiological lesions. The treatment approach to poisoning can be classified into:

  • Specific antidote
  • Fluids
  • Supportive

Specific Antidotes:

Methylene Blue

Indications Nitrate poisoning
Dose 1-2 ml per kg body weight intravenous slow
Reaction General pain, blue or green urine; loss of appetite, dizziness; sweating, skin discoloration
Suppliers Avalon Pharmaceuticals, Flagship Biotech International

Atropine sulphate- (1 mg / ml)

Indications Organophosphate and carbamate poisoning – Do not use in other poisoning as it has several side effects
Dose (0.01 – 0.02 mg / kg), 30 mg / 45 kg body weight to be give slow intravenous 1/3rd i.v. and rest i.m. (t1/2 is 2.5 hours)
Reaction Tachycardia, arrhythmias, syncope, mydriasis, abdominal pain, tachypnoea, slow respiration, fever
Suppliers Atro (Prem Pharma), Tropine (Neon Pharma)

Glycopyrroline bromide (0.2 mg / ml)

Indications Organophosphate and carbamate poisoning, better replacement of atropine sulphate
Dose 0.002 to 0.004 mg per kg
Reactions combining with alpha 2 agonists is not permitted
Suppliers Pyrolin (Celon Pharma), Vagolate (AHPL)

Edetate calcium disodium (20% injection)

Indication It is a chelating agent more specific for lead and aluminium, cadmium And nickel poisoning without affecting body calcium levels.
Dose Starting dose 50 mg / kg per day, 25-35 mg / kg dep i.m. or i.v. every day for 5-7 days, the dose can be divided in the day
Reactions Pain where the medicine was injected, fever, chills, muscle or joint pain tremors; loss of appetite; watery eyes
Suppliers Livodate-Ca (Liv Bio Pharma, Kerala- phone- 8046040182)

Dimercaprol (British Anti lewisite-BAL)

Indications Heavy metal poisoning, such as lead, mercury, arsenic, silver, cadmium
Dose 4 mg per kg repeat after 4 hours, repeat only if urine output is normal
Reaction Severe drowsiness, abdominal pain, anxiety, restless, rapid heartbeats
Supplier Dimercaprol injection (Samarth Life Sciences)

Calcium borogluconate (Calborol, Calcium Sandoz)

Indications Oxalate poisoning, Acute Fluorosis
Dose 300-450 ml intravenous or sub-cutenous, i.v. should be given very slow
Reaction Cardiac fibrillation
Overdose Ca-EDTA is specific antidote
Suppliers Borocal (Vetindia), Calborol (Novartis), Calmex (Zoetis), Calvib (Virbac)

Sodium nitrite (30 mg / ml)

Indications HCN poisoning
Dose 500 mg per kg body weight
Reactions dizziness, flushing, abdominal pain
Suppliers S. G. Pharmaceutical, Genex Laboratories

Sodium thiosulphate (12.5 g per 50 ml)

Indications HCN poisoning
Dose 500 mg per kg body weight
Reaction agitation, behaviour changes, muscle cramps, hypotension
Suppliers Hope Pharmaceuticals

Fluid Therapy:  Necessary to maintain the circulation, plasma volume, manage hypotension and improve cardiac output

Dextrose – 50% – in case of young calves 25% can be given

Indications I.V. fluid to maintain hydration and induce diuresis
Dose 1-4 ml per kg body weight
Reactions Chills, muscle tetany, hyperglycaemia – discontinue administration

Ringers Lactate

Indications Advisable when metabolic acidosis is suspected
Dose 1-4 ml per kg body weight, depending upon evaluation of the deficit
Reactions Do not give with ceftriaxone, citrated blood transfusion, general precaution, avoid mixing any other drug for physical reaction, febrile reaction, hypervolemia
Suppliers Baxter

Sodium bicarbonate injection (8.4%)

Indication Systemic acidosis (rapid and shallow breathing), weak pulse
Dose 3.5 ml per kg body weight
Reaction Do not mix with calcium injections, alkalosis, tachypnoea
Suppliers Sodac (Neon Pharma), Carbocure (Pharmacure Laboratories)

 Nor epinephrine (2mg / ml- 2 ml vial)

Indications Hypotension, low cardiac output (check pulse specially of extremities, cold extremities)
Dose 0.5 – 1.0 mg / minute with continuous infusion to combat hypotension
Reaction Pain, burning, irritation, or skin changes around the injection site, slow or uneven heart rate, trouble breathing, balance difficulties, blue mucous membranes
Suppliers Adrinor (Samarth Pharmaceuticals), Adromin (Neiss Pharma), N-Admin (AAA Pharmaceuticals)

Furosemide (Loop diuretic) 50 mg / ml

Indications Diuretic, pulmonary oedema, anuria or oliguria, oedema in brisket or other regions
Dose 0.5-1 mg per kg body weight max 2g in cows / buffaloes, if no diuresis in six hours stop- preferably give i.v. slow

Check for hypokalaemia and hypomagnesemia – former very critical and do not use gentamicin, amikacin and streptomycin when using furosemide.

Suppliers Lasix (Aventis), Frasix (Cipla), Removet (Morvet), Ridma (Vetequinol



Indications Sedative, anticonvulsant
Dose 0.5 to 1 mg per kg body weight
Reaction Sedation, sleepiness, overdose may cause respiratory arrest
Suppliers Calmpose (Ranbaxy)


Indications Sedative, pre-anaesthetic, anticonvulsant
Dose 0.02 to -0.1 mg i.v. (0.011 to 0.044 mg per kg body weight)
Reactions Overdose may cause respiratory distress
Suppliers Fulsed 5 mg / ml (Ranbaxy), Midaz 5 mg / ml (AHPL)

Phenytoin sodium (50 mg / ml)

Indications Anticonvulsant
Dose 10-15 mg/kg body weight to prevent seizures
Reaction Polydipsia, polyurea, reduce the dose in case chloramphenicol is co-administered
Suppliers Epsolin (Zydus), Eptoin (Abbott)

Dr. Abdul Samad

M.V.Sc., Ph.D. (Canada)
Dairy Consultant