Ask Dairy - Ruminants

"In ruminants, mycotoxins are usually blamed for problems on the farm that cannot be explained. What is your opinion about this?"

Yes, mycotoxins are in danger of becoming the new “winter scour”. We have a dilemma here, on the one hand, mycotoxicosis (especially in its “sub-clinical” or sub-acute form) is far more widespread in ruminants than is commonly supposed and, on the other hand, not all poor performance issues are down to mycotoxins! The problem is that it is rare to see “classical” symptoms that can be attributed to one mycotoxin – fortunately, acute cases are relatively rare. You commonly get a mixture of non-specific symptoms caused by low levels of multiple toxins and these are difficult to separate from other factors on the farm.

If you use Mycosorb as a diagnostic too, you will find out if you really have an issue very quickly and it is usually cheaper to do this than go through a time consuming analytical process.

Expert Answer by: Bruce Woodacre