Salt water poisioning in cattle

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Oct 23, 2005
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The problem is.
The opperator's pumper on the place my Inlaws have leased.
They have a water plant that has a leak at the injecton pump at the water tank.There is no pit or dike around the water tank,seperator and pump.The water leakes out on to the ground outside the fence area.
And there is a good size all the time puddle there and the cattle do drink there.Plenty of tracks all the time in the mud.There is fresh water on the place but they do have to walk a good ways from one to the other.
My question is how long and how much can they drink and what happens when they drink the salt water get thuristy and go tank up on fresh water.What are the affects of the whole set up on cattle how long does it take to kill them and what do they act like or look like between times.
Has anyone delt with this before and what happened.They have had 6 cows die and one pair die in the last mounth.

I know to go to the Corp Comm.I know them and will do that I want to know what Im looking at in the cattle themselves.

They went to the pumper first hit him up.Its an old leak,.Can tell that from size of puddle and rust on the pump strand and around how much salt is on the ground where it dried already.
I told em to look at the name on the lease sign it tells you who owns the producton hit them first and tell em.
Go to the Corp.Comm next.

Need some thoughts and ideas on what to look for.
Thanks for the help.Ronny
in my experience
if the water is salty enough to be harmful
the cattle will not drink it
unless no other water is available.
seems like it has to be 6000 ppm or more to be harmful.
It does no good to fence off a leak.It will just get bigger.
I asked what are the affects and how long does it take for the salt water they drink to show up and how long can it take to kill the cattle.There is as I stated plenty of fresh water for them.But they do have to walk a ways to get to it.And a cow being a cow salt water does taste good.And they will come back to it.If they do drink a lot then go tank up on freash water how long and what does it look like in the cow.How does it affect them that day or the next or next week.
I found a about a 7yr old cow dead in a tank.She hadnt been dead long because she was still soft.And no smell.But there was a little blood run out of her nose when I roped her and rolled her over as she came up out of the water.That made me wonder why she was that far out in water.She didnt bog down and drown.Was not stuck in the mud.She was setting on the bottom.Pretty shallow right there.
I was wondereing the signs to look for and the time frame of all of it.
MIL did get hold of Corp Comm and they will be out today she just called.
The leak at the pump has to be fixed first then they have to cover up the water on the ground or something.
One was a pair.Last Sat were fine this Fri.both are dead.Kill the cow the calf which was only a day or so old will starve pretty quick espically if the milk has been contaminated.
We have production and cattle on the same places.We work to stay in compliance and it isnt hard to fix a leak when you find it.I know because I take care of all our stuff.
I gess that aggrivates me as much as anything I know what it takes to take care of it.And its not hard if you stay on it.This pumper only has five wells to look after and they are all on the same location.One water plant.
There is no excuse.The owner doesnt know anything about it Im assuming.But they will now.
i would want compensation for your cattle losses
i'd get an analysis on the water.
but really don't think it's the salt..maybe something else in the water that is toxic
Have you had any of the dead animals posted ? If you haven't, that should have been your first step you need a vet involved asap..
I don't think a cow would stand in a tank and drink her self to death on salt water. Must be something toxic around somewhere. Any other dead animals nearby?? Might be worth a call to the County Health Officer, County Agent or someone that would come out and take some samples.
i had a bad experience years ago with mustard weed about this time of year.
cattle pretty much go blind
you find them in a corner pushing thier head against the corral fence or stuck in the fence(can't see good)
they are lethargic and they can't drink
check mustard poisoning

we tubed them with water and cottonseed meal for a few days and most recover but some still couldn't see 100%

Notes on poisoning:

Symptoms in cattle start with partial or complete blindness, followed by an inability to use the tongue or throat, leading to an inability to eat. Death occurs if treatment is not applied to recover the ability to eat and see. Treatment has included administering 9-14 L of water twice daily to improve digestion. More recent treatment involves intravenous injections of ethanol diluted in Ringers solution (Staley 1976).

Kingsbury, J. M. 1964. Poisonous plants of the United States and Canada. Prentice-Hall Inc., Englewood Cliffs, N.J., USA. 626 pp.

Staley, E. S. 1976. A treatment for tansy mustard poisoning. Bovine Pract., 11: 35. ... obtype=pdf
The Corp Comm.came this morning and they have a machine hand held that can tell what is in the water and contents by number on a screen.Pretty neat actually.They go to telling us what is in it how much and all that.He said this water is really hot.Not good at all.I found the one in the tank bogged up and couldnt get out.So I pulled some blood in a syringe.Got her up on the bank and run it to the vet.They can tell a little by the blood.He said I cant tell you extically what is all in this for sure but I can tell you her kidneys are shutting down.And what ever she got in to could of been a week ago or so and just now showing up.Kidney failure is a slow process.We got here out of the tank and on to flat ground she can not get up at all.
I kinda hope she does die so we can have her autopsied.
Find out for sure.We got part of them off the place and tomorrow get the rest it got dark on us.Vet said get em off there as quick as you can.Untill the leak is cleaned up.They are supposed to start tomorrow on it.

We have had in the past on a place found an old battery in a wash after we looked and looked had couple die from lead poisioning.
This place is kind of remote and been production on it for years old sites and old trash dump.So there is no telling.
We have also had some plant problems at different times.
One time from and old dump site run off.Strycnine poisioning.Those old place that have had people live on them for so many years before the turn of the century and older.There is two old house sites on there just the foundation rock is all that is left.Some old pieces of crock around.Thats a long time ago when all the wood is rotted and gone.And no one old around you remembers when or who lived there.
There is an old cemetary down the road with a couple of graves that go from the 1830's to right after the civil war.And no one around knows the names on them.
Trying to figure it out is like beatin you head agin a post some times.Ya just have to keep on lookin.
If it is related to the water leak then they sure nuff will have to pay.
Thanks to all that took the time to give some ideas.I appriciate it.Thanks,Ronny
In humans high salt content will lead to kidney damage. Glad your are testing for it.

With our lease we have problems with oil leaking for the pumps. The cow like to lick on it.
ffamom":3l85wnxl said:
In humans high salt content will lead to kidney damage. Glad your are testing for it.

With our lease we have problems with oil leaking for the pumps. The cow like to lick on it.
That is more of an explination than anything I have been told,
Makes sence in this case.And they sure will lick on a polish rod or a leak at the well head or at the pump.Stuffing box leak.
Oil it self might not hurt so much as the horse head comming down and konkin them in the head.
Its not just salt water that comes out of those leaks its a lot more than I imigined.
Thanks this helped with the reasoning and I would imigin a cow could drink it and a week or so later you see the results.Slow acting.
Cow finally died.Took her to the vet and he autopsied her.That was interesting to see althought Id rather not have had to.
Take brain,an eye,kidney,liver,splean,lung,heart,and stomach contents.Send it to OSU to have it tested along with a water sample.
He looked at her eye and said this shows signs of salt water toxsisity.Salt will concentrate in the eye as well as does in the brain.
It will be good to find out just what has happend.With so many at such a short period of time dieing.And I figure if that is it they can die for a while as a result of drinking that water.
Also he said a cow can have fresh water close by but they will for some reason it has to taste good come right back and drink the salt water.Same thing another friend of mine said.They will get addicted to it is all they could think of.
Salt does tast good to a degree.Just like some people they have to have salt on everything they eat and too much of it.
And then go tank up on water and that causes problems also.
I'll let ya know what the reasults and findings are later.You never know it can happen anywhere.And could of and just didnt put it all together.
clampitt":1fwx2xdg said:
I'll let ya know what the reasults and findings are later.You never know it can happen anywhere.

Please do post the results. This has been an interesting thread, and a good reminder to periodically check things out more often in areas where I don't go very often.

Sorry to hear of all the losses you have had. With any luck, you won't lose any more.

BTW, interesting avatar. Is that a goat in harness pulling a cart?

No its Tim Pharr from Ga,
It is a horse we raised trained showed.He has a ROM in three events,CR,BW and BR and AQHA World show finalist.With me.
We owe the stud and his mother also.She is dead now.
He's won over $150,000 and is in the top 20 PRCA now.
clampitt":3mxn9nj3 said:
No its Tim Pharr from Ga,
It is a horse we raised trained showed.He has a ROM in three events,CR,BW and BR and AQHA World show finalist.

Ahhhh....definitely not a goat in harness! :lol: :lol2:

I also tried to get a closer look. Anyhow, very nice pic. Obviously lots of time and training has gone into that horse. Good for you. Hopefully he'll do well at World's.

Vet called today and test comfirmed Salt toxisisty in the water and in cows brain.
Salt content in water 100,000 ppmil.Safe for livestock is 6,000ppmil so pretty toxic.
And since the ground is contaminated salt like this doesnt go out of the ground for years.They the oil co will have to clean it up.If it rains and runs off they get in it back to where you are now.

Any one of you that have land that has even old leases on them.The salt can still be in the ground and when it rains or they lick the ground.They wont lick dirt a lot but will drink the water if it puddles up after a rain or run off.
Even if its been years since any production has been there they the cattle die from salt toxisisty.
If you have had cattle that did poorly or did die kind of out of the blue for no real reason and looked wormy and just didnt do good check around the old tank batteries and where there might of been a salt scar on the land.The salt is still there.

Its sure worth looking into and keeping an eye on them.You might have yours checked when they die to see and have a case against the producer.

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