Horses · Trail riding

Plants deadly to Horses

Since it is Spring and pasture time, thought I would pass along this information I found on-line.

1.  Dogbane.  Up to 5 feet tall with feather-like leaves.  Flowers are white and bell-shaped. Symptoms: bloating, rapid pulse, high temperature, staggering and death. See the Vet immediately.

2.  Locoweed.  Grows to 18 inches tall. Flowers are white, yellow, blue or purple. Symptoms: weight loss, unpre­dictable behavior, altered gaits, im­paired vision or death. No treat­ment and many of the symptoms can be permanent.

3.  Oleander.  A shrub with thick rubbery leaves, approx. 8 to 10 inches long. Flowers are white, pink, purplish or red. So deadly, only 30 to 40 leaves are enough to kill a horse. Symptoms: erratic heart rate, cold extremities, paralysis, cardiac arrest, trembling and collapse, followed by coma and death within a few hours. No antidote, but laxatives have been known to save the horse.

4.  Poison Hemlock.  A weed growing up to 10 feet tall. Leaves resemble carrot tops or parsley. Flowers are white, umbrella shaped. Symptoms: erratic heart rate, paralysis, cold extremities, cardiac arrest, trembling and collapse, followed by coma and death within a few hours or several days. No antidote except purging the gastrointestinal tract.

5.  Red Maple.  Ornamental tree with green leaves that are white underneath. Leaves turn red in the fall. Eating wilted or fallen leaves destroys red blood cells so they are unable to carry enough oxygen. One and 1/2 pounds is toxic, 3 pounds is lethal. Symptoms: depression, lethargy, pale mucous membranes, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, jaundice, dark brown urine, coma and death and may take one or two days to develop. See the Vet immediately.

6.  Tall Fescue.  Clumps 3 to 4 feet tall with medium to wide leaves. Plant tops are spiky and lighter colored than the leaves. The plant isn’t toxic, but the seeds may contain an endophyte fungus that causes reproductive problems, lameness, fever and death. Buy endophyte-free fescue mixtures for planting.

7.  Water Hemlock.  Up to 7 feet tall, yellowish fluid in the stem that smells like carrots or parsnips. Purple-striped stems with small, white, umbrella-shaped flowers. One of the most toxic plants in the U.S. – as little as 8 oz. will kill a horse. Symptoms: Nervousness, dilated pupils, tremors, difficult breathing, convulsions and death in as little as 30 minutes.

8.  Yew.  Ornamental shrub. Wood stem, flat evergreen leaves with small red berries. One mouthful can cause cardiac arrest within 5 minutes. Survivors end up with breathing problems, trembling, weakness, heart problems and diarrhea.

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