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Many plants have characteristic that can cause injury to grazing animals. Some grasses can be palatable when young, but can cause injury to the nose, eyes, mouth and ears of grazing animals when plants mature with long awns.
Plants in this group contain compounds that may irritate an animal's digestive tract, mouth or skin if consumed. These plants are not generally palatable and are typically avoided.
Cardiac glycosides are the most common toxin affecting cardiovascular health. Generally all parts of the plant are highly toxic and lethal if eaten in small quantities. However, animals typically will not readily eat these unpalatable plants, unless no other forage is available.
This group of plants contain cyanogenic glycosides that are converted to hydrogen cyanide or prussic acid when the plant cells are damaged. Chronic poisoning over time causes loss of nerve function while acute poisoning causes death.