Nitrate & Nitrite Poisoning In Animals

Nitrate & Nitrite Poisoning In Animals

Nitrate & Nitrite Poisoning In Animals

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  • Alot Of species Are susceptible To Nitrates & Nitrite poisoning  in animals But Cattle Are Affected most commonly
  • Ruminants are specially Vulnerable because rumen flora reduce Nitrate to Amonia with Nitrite (10Times more toxic than nitrate ) . Nitrate is broken down to nitrite in rumen then convert into Amonia in rumen &then are used by rumen microbes to make protein.Nitrate & Nitrite Poisoning In Animals
  • Nitrate reduction & nitrite production presence in cecum of quidder but not same extent as in ruminents
  • Acute Intoxication is apparent by methemoglobin Formation (Nitrite ion reacts with RBC’s oxides Ferrous iron to ferrous form stable methemoglobin incapable of Oxygen transport ) in Result Anoxia
  • Secondary Effect are Vasodilation on smooth musle
  • Ingested Nitrates direct irritate mucosa then result in abdominal pain & Diarrhea
  • Acute ,chronic ,retarded growth , minor Temporary Goitrogenic effects ,abortions & Fetotoxicity ,low milk production & high susceptibility to infection
  • Main difference of nitrate are cause Inflammation of Gut but Nitrite cause respiratory problems due to interference with ogygenation of Blood .
  • Nitrite is 10 times as toxic to cattle as nitrate
  • Large amount Of nitrate are eaten over short period of time , the nitrite accumulates in rumen & then absorbed
  • Blood stream are react with iron in RBCs , So they can no longer bind oxygen



  • Commonly it is due to Grazing Such as ingestion Of plants contain excess of nitrate espically be hungry animals are overeating
  • Ingestion of fertilizers & chemicals by accidently During grazing .
  • Nitrate are presence in these crops such as OATS, MILLET,RYE,CORN,SUNFLOWER ,SORGHUMS ,WHEAT ,BARLEY ,FLAX, SUGAR BEETS
  • Weeds in which high nitrate are occus such as PIGWEED,THISTLE WEED,JIMSON WEED,DOCK WEED ,SMART WEED AND FIREWEED (KOCHIA)
  • Spring most important season for nitrate poisoning
  • Sources of toxic of nitrate for livestock are such as WATER AND FERTILIZERS
  • Avoid grazing after spreading fertilizers

Nitrate & Nitrite Poisoning In Animals


  • For Nitrate poisoning Main Signs & SYMTOMS are such as DIARRHEA,SALIVATION AND ABDOMINAL PAIN
  • For Nitrite poisoning Main Signs are such as WEAKNESS ,LACK OF OXYGEN IN BLOOD, CHOCOLATE brown mucous membrane ,Difficult breathing ,RAPID PULSE RATE 150+/MIN
  • Commonly URINATION and anxiety are also may be signs appeared
  • Nitrite poisoning signs are also such as Vomiting ,diarrhea ,gastric hemorrhage, ,ATAXIA ,Abnormal Conditions Of lungs
  • Swelling Of rumen & Staggering
  • The pregnant females are survive nitrate  poisoing may be abort due to absence of  oxygen of fetus , abortion occur approximately 10-14 days following exposure to Nitrates
  • In cattle 5-14 days after excessive nitrate /nitrite poisoing
  • Some times animals are die without appearing ill
  • Dark red hues can be seen
  • Hydeoperitoneum reported in calves
  • Edematous : accumulation Of serious Fluid in tissue
  • Haemorrhage in lungs & Digestive system
  • Inadequate nutition can be lead to alert downer cow syndrome & cattle sudden collapse & DEATH Can result


  • The clinical Signs are uncertain if cattle access nitrate & start to showing signs of illness get checked as soon as possible
  • Nitrate poisoning are identified by using blood test For nitrate methaemoglobin (products are formed when nitrite are reacts with RBCs
  • In severe cases methemoglobin is visible as high level in blood & result blood will become as in chocolate colour.


  • Injection of 1% METHYLENE BLUE in distilled water or isotonic saline given

4-22 mg/kg or more Depending on severity of exposure

  • Lower dosages can be repeated in 20-30 min if intial result is not satisfactory
  • Lower dosages of METHYLENE blue can be used in all species but ruminents can be safely tolerate higher dosages
  • If u observe additional absorbtion occur during the process of therapy then u should be retreat with METHYLENE BLUE every 6-8 Hours
  • Rumen Lavage with cold water & antibiotics may stop the continuing microbial production of nitrite .
  • You must your consult veterinarian before treatment


  • The harvested forages in which contains high nitrate that often can be fed safely by MIXING them with other feeds materials to reduce total dietry intake of nitrate
  • Should be dilute them with feeds low in nitrate when u have doubt in feeds for nitrate before Grazing or feeding them



  • Should be Give the  livestock access to fresh nitrate free water at all time
  • Don’t all cattle access to grazing where fertilizers are spreading /Stored
  • Don’t feed Green chop has heated after cutting
  • Should be give the fresh water for drink animals /cattle
  • Should be Don’t Graze high nitrate pastures until one week after killing FROST If possible
  • Should be observe the cattle commaonly when u move them in suspected field So in result detect any Sign of toxicity
  • Drought stressed & small grain forages other forages suspected of high in Nitrates should be tested before feeding
  • Those cattle who are in poor in health conditions & suffering respiratory disease are more susceptible to Nitrate poisoing So should be avoid to move them into field.
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