What Can Kill A Horse Quickly? (Best solution)

The most common acute toxins that kill horses in a few hours to 36 hours include:

  • Botulism – often associated with haylage feeding.
  • Ionophore toxicity – associated with feed contamination.
  • Yew toxicity – associated with horses consuming clippings from this common ornamental shrub.
  • Poison-hemlock – found in swampy areas.

What food will kill a horse?

What Foods & Plants are Poisonous to Horses?

  • Caffeine. While tiny amounts of caffeine probably won’t hurt your horse, you should still avoid giving him any foods that have caffeine in it.
  • Avocado.
  • Fruits with Stones (or Pits)
  • Cauliflower, Cabbage, Broccoli.
  • Bran Products.
  • Potatoes.
  • Rhubarb.
  • Meat Products.

What is deadly to horses?

Poison Hemlock and Water Hemlock: Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) and water hemlock (Cicuta species) are both very toxic to horses. They are often found in moist areas and exude an unpleasant, parsnip-like odor when cut.

What causes sudden death in horses?

Dehydration and impaction, severe parasite load, a twisting or telescoping of the intestine, and other blockages can cause the intestine or stomach to rupture. 4 Although sometimes these symptoms occur over a period of a day or so, some gut issues may occur quickly, resulting in acute signs that lead to sudden death.

What is the number one killer in horses?

The number one killer of horses is colic. Colic is not a disease, but rather a combination of signs that alert us to abdominal pain in the horse. Colic can range from mild to severe, but it should never be ignored.

Will bread kill a horse?

Bread. Bread might appear to be harmless, but all baked goods can become a nasty doughy mess and then cause a blockage which leads to colic. As bread is of little nutritional value and isn’t even that tasty it is best to keep it away from your horse.

Can carrots kill horses?

Large carrots were left today [Thursday 30th of April] that are not only very unhealthy but a serious choking hazard. ”Grass cuttings will also kill a horse as they gorge themselves on it and then it ferments, rupturing their guts. It is a horrible, painful death.

What plant kills horses?

1. Ragwort. Instantly recognisable from its frilly leaves and star-shaped yellow flowers, the deadly ragwort plant is common in British meadows. Once eaten, it attacks the horse’s liver.

Are tomatoes poisonous to horses?

If you grow your own tomatoes, make sure they are well out the reach of your horses. The green parts of the tomato plant contain an alkaloid that slows gut function. Signs of toxicity include colic and diarrhea. Horses generally do not like the taste of tomato plants, so they aren’t likely to eat enough to become ill.

Can horses sense death?

Unfortunately, the grieving processes of horses are very difficult to study as some exhibit signs of separation anxiety rather than, what we would consider to be, ‘loss’. I think horses do know when their companion has died, and they deal with that loss in particular ways.

Can a horses heart explode?

When the horse’s heart rate increases with work, the pressure in the arteries increases dramatically, which could potentially cause a weakened vessel wall to burst. They are not affected by congenital or inherited heart disease, unlike cats, dogs and humans.

What causes a horse to collapse?

1. Syncopal collapse is caused by cerebral hypoperfusion, resulting in acute loss of postural tone and consciousness. It is short in duration and recovery is spontaneous. Syncope can be divided into 3 categories; cardiogenic, neural and miscellaneous.

What is the horse flu?

Equine influenza is a highly contagious respiratory disease of horses and other equidae. It is caused by two subtypes of the influenza A virus, which are related to, but distinct from, influenza viruses in other species.

What is Black water horse?

Causes of Infectious Necrotic Hepatitis (Black Disease) in Horses. The cause of black disease in your horse is the toxin Clostridium novyi. This toxin is found in the environment, in the carcass, and fecal matter of infected animals and within the soil and water supplies.

How long can a horse be down before it dies?

The horses usually lay down for only 2 to 3 hours daily. And anything more than 4 or 5 hours is not a good thing as far as their health is considered. Laying for long hours will disrupt the blood flow to the vital organs and as a result, the organs might get damaged.

Seven Common Toxins That Can Kill Horses within Hours

Date of publication: Tuesday, June 11, 2019, 11:00 a.m. Located in the province of ONTARIO, Canada For owners and veterinarians, it is extremely frustrating when a horse dies suddenly and no explanation can be found. While intoxications are a rare cause of unexpected death, it is important to be aware of the possibility that they may occur because they are potentially preventable. Horse investigating red fruit on a tree Eliminating toxins from horse farms has the potential to prevent some tragic and avoidable horse deaths.

When horses are hungry, toxic plants, poorly processed haylage, hay containing blister beetles, and clippings from toxic plants can all be tempting to them.

The following are the seven most common acute toxins that cause horses to die within a few hours to 36 hours:

  • Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 11:00 a.m., according to the latest news. Canada’s province of ONTARIO When a horse dies unexpectedly and there is no apparent cause, it may be incredibly stressful for both the owner and the veterinarian. While intoxications are a rare cause of sudden death, it is crucial to be aware of the possibility that they might occur since they are theoretically avoidable. a horse investigates a tree with red berries on it It is possible to prevent some tragic and unnecessary horse fatalities by eliminating toxic substances from horse farms. Michael Hansen published a blog post in 2012 titled Horse owners and veterinarians should be aware of the prevalent toxins that might have a negative impact on their horses’ wellbeing. In times of famine, horses may be attracted to hazardous plants, improperly processed haylage, hay that contains blister beetles, and trimmings from deadly plants. Some tragic and unnecessary fatalities can be avoided by removing these pollutants from horse farms. In addition to those listed above, the following are the seven most prevalent acute poisons that kill horses in a matter of minutes to several hours:


Date of publication: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. ONTARIO, CANADA is the location. When a horse dies unexpectedly and no cause can be determined, it is tremendously frustrating for both the owner and the veterinarian. While intoxications are a rare cause of sudden death, it is vital to be aware of the possibility that they might occur since they are theoretically avoidable. A horse investigates a tree with red fruit. It is possible to prevent some tragic and unnecessary horse fatalities by eliminating contaminants from horse farms.

When horses are hungry, hazardous plants, badly processed haylage, hay harboring blister beetles, and trimmings from deadly plants can all attract them.

The following are the seven most prevalent acute poisons that cause horses to die in a matter of hours to up to 36 hours:

Ionophore toxicity

The ionophores are coccidiostats that are mostly employed in the poultry sector, but they may also be found in some cattle feed and minerals as growth promoters for livestock. Monensin (Rumensin) and lasalocid are two of the ionophores present (Bovatec). The most prevalent clinical indications of toxicosis include lethargy, cyanosis, depression, pulmonary edema, cardiac degeneration, and mortality. Toxicosis is caused by an accumulation of toxic substances in the body. Feed only mineral feeds and commercial diets designed specifically for horses.

Yew poisoning

The genus Taxus contains three regularly cultivated decorative shrubs: the English yew (Taxus baccata), a natural shrub from North America; the Canada yew (Taxus canadensis), also a native plant; and the Japanese yew (Taxus kaempferi) (Taxus cuspidata). They are frequently utilized as landscaping shrubs in the United States. Yew needles and seeds are extremely deadly to horses and cattle whether eaten fresh or dried; this is true of all yews, regardless of their species. The red fleshy seed coat, on the other hand, is not harmful.

Horses can be poisoned by as little as 0.1 percent of their body weight or one pound of English yew, which is as deadly as 0.1 percent of their body weight. Horses who consume yew will die within one to three hours. Cardiac arrest and suffocation are the most commonly cited causes of death.

Poison hemlock

Known as poison hemlock, it is a native herb that has an umbrella-like shape, similar to that of wild carrot (also known as Queen Anne’s Lace). Swampy regions, moist meadows, and the borders of streams and drainage ditches are all good places to find this plant growing. Poison hemlock has been implicated in the poisoning of animals such as cattle, goats, horses, pigs and sheep, as well as rabbits, poultry, deer, and people who have consumed the poison. The sensitivity of different animal species to acute poisoning varies.

Red Maple Leaf Poisoning

Blood poisoning caused by red maple leaf poisoning is related with horses swallowing wilted red-maple leaves off broken branches or when horses climb over fences and consume leaves that have been thrown into the dung pile. During the summer, the quantity of poison present in the leaves rises. Fallen leaves are poisonous for several weeks or longer after they have fallen. The consumption of fresh leaves does not appear to be associated with any illness. A haemolytic condition characterized by severe depression, anemia, and hemoglobinuria will result after the administration of 1.5 – 3 grams of wilted leaves per kilogram of body weight (presence of free hemoglobin in the urine).

Gallic acid has also been discovered in silver maple and sugar maple, among other places.

Crimson maples are not the only trees that have red leaves.

Red maples are poisonous to horses.

Oleander Toxicosis

Oleander toxicity in animals has been linked to the ingestion of plant clippings in locations where oleander is abundantly present. The most often reported presenting complaint was sudden death. Other indications and symptoms that have been observed include diarrhea, pulmonary edema, tachycardia, cardiac arrhythmias, colic, and tiredness, amongst others. Oleander poisoning is presumed to be present when clinical indications are found to coincide with evidence of oleander ingestion, as in this case.

Cantharidiasis (Blister Beetle Poisoning)

Bulb beetle poisoning is connected with insect contamination of fodder, which is typically found in diets comprising alfalfa hay or other forage. It takes just 3 to 18 hours for the disease to manifest itself, with evidence of gastrointestinal tract discomfort, non-specific neurologic signs, and death in shock as the last stage. Clinical manifestations last somewhere between 3 and 18 hours. Gross lesions may be minor or nonexistent in fatal poisonings, and the diagnosis must be verified chemically by detecting cantharidin in the urine, blood, or stomach or cecal contents, among other methods.

It is common in the midwestern United States, where blister beetles are widespread, to suffer from blister beetle poisoning. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs issued a press release.

10 Plants and Chemicals That Are Toxic to Horses – The Horse

There are a variety of foods that horses should never consume. To be sure, poisonous plants are at the top of the list of things to stay away from, but there are other substances, creatures, and chemicals that can be harmful as well. Despite the fact that poisoning in horses is uncommon when compared to other types of illness, when it does occur, the results can be catastrophic. Veterinary clinical toxicologist Cynthia Gaskill, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ABVP, associate professor at the University of Kentucky Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and a member of the American Board of Veterinary Pathology, says that many people believe horses know what to eat and what not to eat.

It is possible for horses to eat poisonous chemicals in a variety of ways, from taking a curious nibble of a tree limb to accidentally consuming tainted grain meal.

Here are our top ten picks:

1. Yew

Yielding red berries in the fall, yews such as the American, English, Japanese, and Western varieties are decorative evergreen hedge-type plants. For the most part, they are widely employed in landscaping throughout North America. Horses are at risk. According to Sarah Ralston, VMD, PhD, professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at Rutgers University, as little as a mouthful or two of yew can be fatal, according to her research. Taxine, an alkaloid poison found in the plant, causes cardiac and respiratory collapse, frequently within minutes of exposure.

Possibility of exposure Yew poisoning occurs most frequently when trimming clippings are mistakenly dumped into pastures after pruning, with the leaves staying deadly even after they have wilted.

2. Oleander

During the spring and summer, this typical beautiful perennial evergreen shrub blooms flowers in shades of white, pink, and red. Oleander is a plant that is common in the southern United States, yet it only flourishes in places where temperatures remain above freezing. Horses are at risk. Potent cardiac glycosides found in the plant interfere with the heart’s ion balance, resulting in irregular heart activity that can eventually lead to cardiac failure and death if not treated promptly. Horses are regarded fatal in relatively little levels (0.005 percent of the horse’s total weight, or 0.05 pounds for a 1,000-pound horse).

See also:  How Much Is Colic Surgery For A Horse?

Possibility of exposure Horses are frequently exposed to oleander when humans rake clippings into pastures and leave them there.

3. Ionophores

Animal feed additives containing antibiotics, such as monensin, are utilized as growth promoters in the diets of cattle and poultry. Farmers also employ them as antiprotozoal drugs to combat Coccidia infections, which they obtain through livestock. Horses are at risk. In comparison to other livestock, horses are more sensitive to ionophores, which alter ion transport across cell membranes and, as a result, influence the function of nerves and muscles. It is known that ionophores are cardiotoxic to horses, since they cause damage to the heart muscle, according to Karyn Bischoff (DVM, MS, Dipl.

Consumption symptoms might include a loss of appetite, high heart rate, sweating, colic, and abrupt death, among other things.

“Unfortunately, a large number of these animals do not survive.

As Gaskill points out, “exposure to cattle feed with the permitted dose of ionophore is an uncommon cause of poisoning in horses.” “The majority of the time, the problem occurs when horses are exposed to a concentrated pre-mix or an inadequately prepared cattle feed with a greater dose.”

4. Blister beetles

Blister beetles, which are abundant in the Midwestern United States, swarm alfalfa fields and can be baled into alfalfa hay during the harvest season. They are active from mid-summer to late summer, feeding on the tops of alfalfa plants. Horses are at risk. Blister beetles contain cantharidin, which is a poisonous toxin that also serves as a blister-causing agent. After eating it, “the horse may develop blisters in the mouth and esophagus, as well as ulcerations in the stomach and intestinal tract,” according to Bischoff.

  1. “It’s simply a fire that burns the entire time.” In most cases, clinical indications occur within hours of ingestion and include gastrointestinal distress, straining and frequent urine, as well as sores in and around the mouth.
  2. Possibility of exposure Throughout the crimping process, Alfalfa hay can become infected with beetles that are crushed during the procedure (when hay stems are broken to hasten drying).
  3. Because of the beetles’ proclivity to swarm, only a few flakes of hay in a bale may be harmed by their presence.
  4. He suggests purchasing hay from producers who take measures while harvesting.

5. Rodenticides and pesticides

Blister beetles swarm alfalfa fields and can be baled into alfalfa hay during the harvest season in the Midwestern United States. They are active from the middle of July through the end of summer, and they graze on the tops of alfalfa crops. Horses are endangered. A deadly substance known as cantharidin is found in blister beetles, which causes blistering. The horse’s mouth and esophagus can get blistered, as well as the stomach and intestines, if he consumes it, according to Bischoff. ” “It has the potential to circulate in the bloodstream and cause harm to cardiac cells.

“It’s practically a fire that lasts the entire time.” In most cases, clinical indications occur within hours of ingestion and include stomach discomfort, straining and frequent urine, and sores in and around the mouth.

Exposition to risk Crushed beetles that are crushed during the crimping process might pollute alfalfa hay, resulting in contamination (when hay stems are broken to hasten drying).

Because of the beetles’ proclivity to swarm, only a few flakes of hay in a bale may be damaged.

Unfortunately, Bischoff adds, there is no practical way to test for contamination other than by meticulously scrutinizing each flake individually. He suggests purchasing hay from producers who take measures while harvesting the crop.

6. Herbicides

Some landowners use pesticides to keep weeds under control on their properties. Herbicides such as glyphosate and phenoxy are the most often used. Horses are at risk. AFTER being sprayed with herbicide, horses may be more likely to consume toxic plants that they would not normally eat, according to Dr. Safdar Khan of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Animal Poison Control Center, who previously served as director of toxicology at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. “When herbicides are employed, they can cause specific chemical changes in the plant, which, for whatever reason, can make the plant more appealing to horses.” Diarrhea and colic are frequently observed following exposure.

As a result, it is critical to adhere to product requirements.

7. Decaying organic matter

Rotting hay, haylage, and other organic materials may contain botulism-causing toxins generated by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum, which can cause death. Horses are at risk. Cattle and horses are particularly sensitive to C. botulinumtoxins, which damage the nerves that connect with muscles, causing widespread weakness that eventually develops to paralysis in the horses. Medical professionals have identified a number of clinical indications of botulism, including the inability to eat and drink, drooling, nasal discharge, muscular spasms, trouble getting up, difficulty breathing, and death.

It has been discovered that certain sections of the country, such as Kentucky, have significant quantities of toxin-producing bacterial spores in the soil.

The poison can be found in animal corpses as well.

8. Fumonisin (moldy corn)

This mycotoxin (fungal toxin) has the potential to infect corn before harvest or while in storage. Increased fumonisin concentrations in growing corn are connected with hot, dry circumstances followed by high humidity, which are most prevalent in the Midwest and South, respectively. Horses are at risk. Moldy corn poisoning, also known as equine leukoencephalomalacia (ELEM), is a fast developing and sometimes deadly neurologic condition that affects horses that ingest maize that has dangerous fumonisin levels.

According to Bischoff, the outlook is not promising for those who do survive.

Possibility of exposure Fumonisin contamination is tested for in the majority of commercial feed mills. Untested maize, such as that which has been harvested directly from the field, can put horses’ lives in danger, especially in areas where fumonisin is more widespread.

9. Red maple

Researchers have long suspected that wilted red maple leaves might be poisonous to horses, but they now believe that other species, such as sugar and silver maple, may be as dangerous. Horses are at risk. The mechanism of red maple poisoning is still being investigated, but scientists believe the deadly chemical is connected to increased quantities of gallic acid in the leaves of the tree during the summer months, which experts believe is the case. When the leaves are combined with particular bacteria, they form a powerful oxidant that destroys horses’ red blood cells, impairing their capacity to transport oxygen or causing them to be destroyed altogether.

Loss of appetite, crimson urine, increased drinking and urination, and an overall gloomy condition are all common clinical indicators of depression.

Possibility of exposure Red maple poisoning hellip is a condition that occurs usually in the late summer and early fall, according to Bischoff.

If a horse is bored or interested, he or she may decide to pull the leaves off and eat them.

10. Tansy ragwort

Tansy ragwort is a nondescript yellow blooming plant that may be found over most of North America. Horses are at risk. When a horse consumes enough of the plant in a short period of time, or lower amounts over a longer length of time, he or she might develop an incurable chronic liver disease, but the symptoms may not appear for six months to a year, according to Bischoff. Head-pressing, circling, and other strange behavior are all possible signs of neurologic illness. It is also typical to see a decrease in appetite and weight reduction over time.

Take-Home Message

Several chemicals are poisonous to horses, with ill effects ranging from moderate to lethal, depending on what was taken, how much, the horse’s size and condition, and other case circumstances, among other factors. Because horses are not always aware of what is damaging to them, owners and caregivers must be acutely aware of these dangers when caring for and managing their horses.

Things That Are Toxic To Horses

Following their transfer to a sanctuary, it may be difficult to guarantee that the horses continue to enjoy healthy and happy lives, and there are many different areas of care to consider on a daily basis. Unfortunately, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of running a sanctuary, hazardous and deadly threats are occasionally ignored. While little exposure to many of these toxins is unlikely to result in substantial health consequences, high levels can result in severe health consequences, and, regrettably, even death in some cases.

For your convenience, we’ve gathered a list of common plants and other potentially hazardous substances that have been identified as a source of concern for horses in order to assist you avoid running into this issue.

Plants That Are Toxic To Horses

It is recommended that you visit The Open Sanctuary Project’s Global Toxic Plant Database and filter the species afflicted by horses in order to see a list of plants from all around the world that are poisonous to horses. Please keep in mind that, while this list is thorough, it may not cover every single plant that is harmful to horses!

Other Potential Horse Toxins

It is believed that blister beetles produce cantharidin, which is a deadly toxin that the insects employ as a defense against predators. In all, there are more than 200 distinct species, and they may be found from Mexico to Southern Canada, and from the east coast of the United States all the way to the west coast of the United States as far as New Mexico. When even a little quantity of cantharidin is consumed by a horse, it can cause serious injury or death. Horses become infected with cantharidin after swallowing alfalfa hay that has been infested with blister beetles, according to the CDC.

  1. The toxin’s efficacy is not diminished by crushing or chemically removing the beetles.
  2. Even if you have successfully removed the beetle, you should discard any contaminated flakes since the poison may still be there.
  3. Harvest alfalfa before it has fully bloomed to limit the likelihood of beetle infestation in the field.
  4. Beetles are crushed into the hay as a result of crimping it.

Mucous membranes that are black and congested are classic clinical indications, as is the habit of constantly swallowing little amounts of water or burying the entire snout in water and “water playing.” Colic, depression, anorexia, ulceration of the oral mucosa, diarrhea, polyuria (excessive diluted urination), sweating, delayed capillary refill time, tachycardia (abnormally rapid heart rate), tachypnea (abnormally rapid breathing), muscle rigidity, collapse, and synchronous diaphragmatic flutter are some of the other progressive signs of adenocarcinoma.

Thumps are contractions of the diaphragm that occur at the same time, which is referred to as synchronous diaphragmatic flutter (SDF) in medical terms.

Horses suffering from this condition have a possibility of recovery if they get prompt veterinarian attention.

Hardware Disease

In blister beetles, cantharidin is present, which is a poisonous chemical that is employed as a defense against predators by the insects. There are more than 200 distinct species, and they may be found from Mexico to Southern Canada, and from the east coast of the United States to as far west as New Mexico. They are also found in the tropics of the world. When even a little quantity of cantharidin is swallowed by horses, it can cause serious injury or death. When horses eat alfalfa hay that has been infested with blister beetles, they come into touch with cantharidin, which is a poison.

  • The toxin’s efficacy is not diminished by crushing or chemically eliminating the beetles.
  • This will assist to limit the possibility of poisoning.
  • Due to the fact that the insects haven’t swarmed by the time first-cut hay is gathered, it is less likely than later-harvested hay to be infected.
  • When hay is harvested with a self-propelled mower or windrower, it is less likely to be contaminated by crushed beetles.
  • Those horses who take in large amounts of poison may have acute shock and, sadly, may die within hours of consuming the toxin.

Colic, depression, anorexia, ulceration of the oral mucosa, diarrhea, polyuria (excessive diluted urination), sweating, delayed capillary refill time, tachycardia (abnormally rapid heart rate), tachypnea (abnormally rapid breathing), muscle rigidity, collapse, and synchronous diaphragmatic flutter are some of the other progressive signs of the disease.

Please consult your veterinarian promptly if you suspect Blister Beetle Poisoning. Horses that are affected have a possibility of recovery if they get prompt veterinary attention.

Lead Toxicity

Lead was historically utilized in paints and insecticides, and it may also be found in naturally occurring environmental sources such as soil and water. Even if you have never used any items containing lead, it is possible that lead is present in old barn or fence paint, as well as in the soil, despite your best efforts. Places where ancient machinery and leaded gas have been kept, as well as old treated lumber and railroad ties, might all have contributed to the poisoning of the water supply.

  • They may also ingest lead by chewing or licking on polluted objects or surfaces.
  • You can enquire about testing by contacting your local environmental conservation service or agricultural extension office.
  • Prevent your inhabitants from gaining access to structures and fences that have peeling paint since they may gnaw or lick these things and consume lead as a result.
  • When it comes to more serious situations, you may notice the following signs and symptoms:
  • Appetite loss, weight loss, weariness and weakness, and incoordination are among symptoms of menopause. anemia There are several symptoms of anemia, including low levels of red blood cells, hemoglobin, or total amount of blood in the blood
  • Odd manure consistency or diarrhea
  • Respiratory difficulties or blindness
See also:  How Long Is A Horse Tail Without Hair? (Question)

If you believe that your horse has swallowed lead or if your horse is beginning to show signs of lead poisoning, seek veterinary attention immediately.


Mycotoxins are toxin-producing molds (fungi) that are toxic to a wide range of animals, including humans. Mycotoxins can be passed on to horses by contaminated feed or bedding, for example. Moisture and warmth combine to create the ideal conditions for mold reproduction. The type and amount of mycotoxin that a horse consumes determines whether or not the health difficulties are acute and short-lived, or whether or not the disorders become chronic. The following are some general indicators of poisoning:

  • Appetite loss, weight loss, respiratory difficulties, increased susceptibility to infectious infections (due to impaired immunological function), and a slow development rate are all symptoms of hypothyroidism.

When it comes to avoiding significant health problems, prevention is essential. Fortunately, there are a number of precautions you can take to assist guarantee that resident horses do not suffer from the adverse effects of mycotoxin poisoning. These include:

  • Make certain that the spaces where food, grain, and hay are stored are clean, dry, and cold. Avoid allowing mice, rats, and other animals to enter food storage places because they can eat holes in food bags, increasing the probability of grain being exposed to moist conditions. Always feed the bags of food that are the most stale first. In the winter, try to finish open bags within a few weeks of opening them, and in the summer, try to finish them even faster. Disinfect any storage bins or cans thoroughly to remove any old grain that has been lodged in the gaps and crevices. Before combining foods, check with your food maker or supplier to see if they routinely test for the presence of mycotoxins in the grains that are being used. If they do not, avoid doing business with them and look for another provider. Avoid maize screens (tiny pieces of corn grain that contain extremely high quantities of fumonisins on a regular basis) at all costs.

If you are concerned about the likelihood of mycotoxin contamination in your food supply, you should get your food facilities checked. This is especially critical if you have a horse that is exhibiting the first indications of mycotoxin exposure, as described above.

Opossum Feces

Possums are great animals that contribute significantly to the health of our local ecosystems. The protozoan that causes Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis can unfortunately be found in possum feces, which is a serious health concern (EPM). Horses are affected by this severe neurological condition, which is life-threatening. A horse’s risk of developing EPM increases if he consumes feed that has been infected with this protozoan. Occasionally, a possum will get access to a food storage place and leave feces on hay that horses would subsequently consume.

Make certain to inspect hay for trash and to properly dispose of any contaminated hay. More information about humane methods of managing animal populations at your sanctuary may be found here.

Other Animal Food

While you may believe it is OK to replace horse food for cow food, this is not the case. While the term “cow” can be defined to refer exclusively to female cattle, at The Open Sanctuary Project we refer to domesticated cattle of all ages and sexes as “cows.” If you think you’re going to be able to get away with feeding your horses goat, bird, or animal food for a few days until you can get into town to get more horse food, you’re wrong. Cattle, goat, and bird feeds that are not treated are harmful to your horses’ health, and medicated feeds can be lethal.

Horses, on the other hand, are extremely sensitive to ionophores.

Make certain that food preparation locations are protected from curious residents who might want to sneak in for a noon snack!

Unfortunately, sick horses frequently succumb within 12 to 36 hours after presenting symptoms.

Pesticides, Herbicides, And Rodenticides

Herbicides and rodenticides can induce toxicosis in horses if they are consumed by the animals, which may not come as a surprise. Horses who swallow plants that have been sprayed with phenoxy acid herbicides might become unwell or possibly die as a result of the exposure. As a result, it is critical that horses are not given herbicide-treated plants or are not permitted access to pastures that have been treated with herbicides in order to avoid harming them. While rats and mice might provide difficulties for sanctuaries, it is critical to treat them with care and to employ humane mitigation measures.

  1. Horses may be attracted to these goods as well, and if they come across them, they may attempt to lick or consume them if they can.
  2. There are a variety of new and inventive approaches to dealing with rat populations that are both more effective and humane.
  3. The importance of early therapy cannot be overstated.
  4. It is possible that poisoning will be confirmed by blood testing.


Venomous snake bites are not frequent, but when they do occur, they should be treated as seriously as possible and as soon as possible. The most usual places for a horse to be bitten are on the snout and on the hind legs. It is possible for a snake to bite more than once, so if you discover a snakebite, check for other bites to be sure. Snake venom differs from species to species, and the intensity of a bite can be altered by factors such as size, age, and the number of bites received.

The majority of venoms have the potential to impede blood coagulation and cause cardiac damage, while some include neurotoxins. The following are possible signs of a snakebite:

  • Pain and swelling at the location of the bite
  • An one or more puncture wounds
  • Sloughing of tissues surrounding the biting site
  • One or more puncture holes Cardiacarrhythmias Arrhythmias are heartbeat irregularities that affect the pace or rhythm of your heartbeat. It indicates that your heart beats too rapidly, too slowly, or in an uneven manner
  • It also indicates that your heart beats irregularly. Blood clotting capacity is impaired in some individuals. Shock, collapse, paralysis, and death are all possibilities.

If a horse is bitten by a venomous snake, get veterinarian attention as soon as possible. DO NOT attempt to suck the venom out or apply a tourniquet to the wound. Maintaining the horse’s quiet while obtaining prompt veterinarian attention is essential. According on the severity of the bite, therapies may include antivenin, pain relievers, intravenous fluids, wound care, vaccination against tetanus, and antibacterial agents (antibiotics). Take a look at our article, Compassionate Wildlife Practices At Your Animal Sanctuary, for some pointers on how to keep snakes away from your sanctuary.

Wood Stains And Paints

Some wood stains and paints can be hazardous to horses, so be cautious when using them. Horses may attempt to chew on painted surfaces, and if the stain or paint is poisonous, they may fall unwell as a result. Purchase paints and stains that are specifically designed for barns and fences, and that are labeled as “animal-friendly” or “livestock-friendly.” While this is not a full list, it will undoubtedly assist you in keeping resident horses safe, healthy, and happy!. SOURCES: In horses, cantharidin toxicity caused by blister beetles has been seen.

  1. Today’s Veterinary Nurse Is Lead Present in Your Pasture?
  2. Stuff for Petz Horse Toxic Plants |
  3. |
  4. The Horse (Non-Compassionate Source) Topic: Snakebites and Horses |
  5. (Non-Compassionate Source) Is There a Non-Compassionate Source?
  6. See this page for a more in-depth explanation.

Poisonous Weeds in Horse Pastures (Rutgers NJAES)

Hungry horses do not heed warnings about the dangers of toxic plants in their surroundings. Despite general assumption, animals are not always protected by their instincts, which is not always the case. As a result, it is the responsibility of horse owners to avoid plant poisonings. The most effective strategy to accomplish this is to get familiar with the identification of dangerous plants as well as appropriate management strategies for pastureland. What causes a plant to become poisonous? Several distinct chemical compounds that are poisonous may be discovered in a range of plants, and each one has its own poisonous properties.

Depending on the plant, the symptoms might vary from minor discomfort and weight loss to colic and, in some cases, death.

Poisoning can occur as a result of a single interaction (or ingestion) with a plant or as a result of long-term repetitive contact with a plant, depending on the degree of plant toxicity.

Horses will avoid most harmful plants if there is plenty of high-quality food available in the pasture.

Fortunately, many toxic plants are not appetizing to horses, and they will only consume them if there is insufficient feed available.

Inspect Pastures

One of the most important ways to avoid plant poisoning is to wander around the pastures and examine for dangerous plants. Poisonous plants should be eradicated as soon as feasible (e.g., herbicide treatment, manual digging, or mowing) or excluded from the area by fence. Don’t forget to look three or four feet beyond the fence line of the pasture, since many horses will extend their legs over the fence in search of feed. Walking across the pastures will also provide you with an opportunity to assess the pasture’s overall production.

Is there enough food available for the horses, or does the pasture have numerous barren patches (more than 30% of the field) where no additional hay is provided?

Examine the hedgerows on each side of the grassland as well.

Broken branches of these species should not be allowed to stay in the pasture, and prunings from shrubs and trees should not be thrown into the pasture.

Pasture Management

The most effective protection against dangerous plants is to maintain healthy stands of desirable grass and legume species through the implementation of a strong pasture management strategy. Pasture management should involve soil testing, liming and fertilizing, effective grazing management, mowing and dragging, among other practices (seeFS368, “Establishing and Managing Horse Pastures”). For pastures, it may also be necessary to control weeds, insects, and diseases. A healthy, productive pasture will be able to withstand invasion by the majority of dangerous weeds while still providing high-quality fodder.

  1. Weeds are any plant that is not desirable in the pasture, and with proper pasture management, many weeds may be removed.
  2. The majority of toxic plants are either broadleaf or woody species.
  3. Permanent pastures can be treated with dicamba, 2,4-D, or some combination of dicamba and 2,4-D to control a wide range of annual and perennial broadleaf weeds without harming the grasses.
  4. Dicamba and 2,4-D, on the other hand, will kill or seriously harm the majority of legumes (i.e., alfalfa and clover).

In order to avoid drift (airborne herbicide spreading to areas other than the field being sprayed), special measures should be taken while applying these herbicides, and labelling information, specifically grazing limitations, must be observed.

Common Toxic Plants Found In or Near Horse Pastures

Buttercup is a tall flower (Photo courtesy Sarah Ralston.) Buttercups: The buttercup species (Ranunculusspecies) contains a number of annual and perennial plants that are typically seen in overgrazed horse pastures, including the common buttercup (Ranunculus species). Horses seldom ingest buttercup since it is unappealing to them, and when they do, they suffer from severe mouth irritation. The poisonous component is present in the fresh leaves and flowers, but the toxicity is reduced when the leaves and flowers are dried for hay.

  1. Toxic poisoning can result in convulsions and death in the most severe situations.
  2. Jimsonweed is a plant that grows in the Jimsonweed family (Photo courtesy Carey Williams.) Jimsonweed (Datura stramonium) is a weed that causes a nuisance all over the world.
  3. It is an annual plant that may grow up to 5 feet tall in agricultural areas and overgrazed pastures, depending on the conditions.
  4. All portions of the jimsonweed plant are dangerous to horses and people; the toxicity is produced by tropane alkaloids, which are present in high concentrations.
  5. Jimsonweed has a bad odor and taste, and horses will not eat it if they have access to better food sources elsewhere.
  6. The leaves, branches, and unripe (green) berries of all of these plants contain a glycoalkaloid known as solanine, which is toxic to humans.
  7. Horses normally do not consume these plants unless they are really hungry and there is no other source of nutrition available.
See also:  Why Do You Have To Shoe A Horse? (Question)

It is thought that one to 10 pounds of plant debris swallowed by horses can be lethal.

In addition to a sudden state of sadness, apparent hallucinations, and convulsions, poisoning can manifest itself in numerous ways.

It grows in an upright manner, mimicking a tree, and may grow to be up to 10 feet tall.

The leaves are long and oval in shape, and they grow between 12 and 20 inches long on the plant.

However, horses can also be poisoned by the leaves and stems of the plant, which are less poisonous than the roots.

It is possible that a hazardous molecule called phytolaccotoxin can induce a burning feeling in the mouth, low grade chronic colic, and diarrhea in infants and young children.

Yuka (Yew) from Japan.

Japanese Yew (Kaempfelia japonica): Taxuscuspidata (Japanese yew) is a very toxic ornamental shrub that is extremely poisonous to animals.

In horses, yew leaves are said to be highly appealing, and as little as a mouthful (about 0.1 percent of the horse’s body weight in leaves) can result in death within 30 minutes as a result of respiratory or cardiac collapse.

As a result of its widespread use as an ornamental shrub, it is particularly crucial to ensure that neighbors do not dump yard trimmings into your pastures.

The seeds, leaf, and bark of this plant contain hydrogencyanide, which is a lethal chemical.

A horse weighing 1,000 pounds would be poisoned by two and a half pounds of black cherry leaves.

Please keep in mind that the little suckers that develop from the base of a cherry tree, even from cut stumps, contain significant quantities of cyanide, making them dangerous to eat.

(Image courtesy of Krishona Martinson of the University of Minnesota.) Black Walnut: The bark, wood, nuts, and roots of the black walnut tree (Juglans nigra) contain a toxin that should be avoided at all costs.

Previously, it was believed to be juglone, however juglone did not elicit any symptoms in studies.

Depression, lethargy, laminitis, swelling of the lower limbs, and elevations in temperature, pulse, respiration rate, abdomen noises, digital pulse, and hoof temperature are all signs of exposure.

Because the black walnut’s bark and nut hulls are poisonous, these trees should be removed from horse pastures as a precautionary measure to protect horses.

(Image courtesy of Krishona Martinson of the University of Minnesota.) Maple Trees: The leaves of the maple tree (Acerspecies) are extremely poisonous.

leaves on a fallen tree limb lying in a pasture or during the fall).

Fallen and dead leaves are poisonous for almost a month after they have fallen and can cause serious kidney damage if consumed in big amounts.

Depression, lethargy, increased rate and depth of breathing, increased heart rate, jaundice, dark brown urine, coma, and death are some of the symptoms of poisoning that can occur in certain people.

The image is courtesy of Laura Gladney.

Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) and water hemlock (Cicutaspecies) are both extremely poisonous to horses and should be avoided at all costs.

Despite the fact that they appear to be the same plant at first appearance, they are actually separate species with distinct poisonous qualities.

For a horse to be killed by poison hemlock, it must swallow around 4 to 5 pounds of the poison.

The toxicity of water hemlock reduces during the course of the growth season; however, the roots remain extremely poisonous throughout the year, regardless of the season.

The majority of horses who are poisoned by water hemlock exhibit aggressive behavior, including muscular tremors and convulsions.

Alsike Clover (on the left) and red clover (on the right) (right).

Alsike Clover is a fictional character created by author Alsike Clover.

Alsike clover (Trifolium hybridum) is a species of clover native to North America.

There are several ways to distinguish it from the non-toxic red and white clovers, the most noticeable of which are the bigger blossom, hairy stems and leaves, and a white inverted “V” on the leaf.

There is also a risk of nitrate poisoning in this environment.

If the alkaloid toxin is exposed for an extended period of time, it can induce acute liver failure, which can be deadly.

(Image courtesy of Stan C.

Plants in the Rhododendron genus, such as azaleas, and other plants in the Ericaceae family, such as mountain laurel, are widely used as ornamentals because of their brightly colored and visually appealing blossoms.

All sections of these plants, however, include glycosides known as grayanotoxins, which have been shown to have negative effects on the stomach, intestine, and circulatory system.

Salivation, diarrhea, colic, and muscle tremors are some of the first signs of the disease. It is possible that an abnormal heart rate or rhythm will develop later. This plant is capable of causing death if consumed in high enough amounts.

Some other toxic plants found in New Jersey include:

  • Onions/garlic, milkweed, bracken fern, cocklebur, horsetail, white snakeroot, St. John’s wort, star of Bethlehem, sorghum/sudangrass, yellow sweet clover, blue-green algae, bouncing bet, larkspur, mayapple, skunk cabbage, and skunk cabbage are some examples of weeds to look for. Black locust, oak (with green acorns), horse chestnut, boxwood, and holly are among the trees that can be found. Among the ornamental plants are: oleander, foxglove, tulips, day lilies, hydrangea, morning glory, iris, daffodil, lily of the valley, hyacinth, trumpet vine, clematis, bleeding heart, Dutchman’s breeches, English ivy, lupine, and privet.

These plants may frequently be recognized with relative ease by using the web resources indicated below. Many of the websites include photographs to help in the identifying process. If you have reason to believe a plant may be harmful and need assistance identifying the plant, call your county agricultural agent for assistance. Local Rutgers Cooperative Extension county agricultural agents can be located in the blue pages of your telephone directory, under County Government (or by visiting njaes.rutgers.edu/county) or by visiting the Rutgers Cooperative Extension web site.

References and Further Reading

Carey Williams is responsible for the majority of the images. The month of May 2013 Copyright expires in 2022. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a public research university in New Jersey. All intellectual property rights are retained. njaes.rutgers.edu. Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey, The United States Department of Agriculture, and the Boards of County Commissioners are among the organizations that are collaborating. Rutgers Cooperative Extension, a division of the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, is an equal opportunity provider of programs and employer of all employees.

Poisonous plants for horses: Horse & Hound’s expert guide

Even though many plants can be dangerous to horses if consumed in large quantities, there are a few hazardous plants for horses that should be avoided at all costs. However, there are other plants that can cause severe issues — including death — if horses swallow them. In the United Kingdom, ragwort poisoning is the most prevalent kind of poisoning induced by the intake of ragwort over a period of time. Poisoning can manifest itself in a horse in a variety of ways, ranging from poor thrift and photosensitisation to sickness and disruption of the function of critical bodily systems.

There are numerous distinct active chemicals in each category, as well as within each group.

Please see below for our guide to the lethal flora you should be aware of in order to prevent a very sad and preventable untimely death for your equine companion.

1. Ragwort

The deadlyragwortplant, which is easily identified by its frilly leaves and star-shaped yellow blooms, is a typical sight in British meadows. Once consumed, it causes damage to the horse’s liver. Horses will typically reject ragwort because of its harsh flavor, but it may be made more palatable by drying it and mixing it with hay before feeding it to them. According to DEFRA laws, landowners who allow ragwort to spread on grazing area can be fined; nevertheless, horse owners should always be on the lookout for the plant and inspect their hay on a regular basis.

If the consequences are discovered in time, they can be treated with steroids; if they are not, the horse may become blind and finally die.

When working with the plant, it is advised that you use gloves. Make use of a hay supplier that is renowned and trustworthy. More information on ragwort may be found at:

  • The start of a new research study
  • The skin of a poisoned horse begins to peel away
  • Identifying liver issues

2. Sycamore

Although sycamores have always been considered safe for horses, the often-fatal muscle ailment has lately been linked to them. In recent years, Atypical Myopathy (AM) has grown significantly more prevalent in the United Kingdom. Infections caused by sycamore seeds (also known as helicopter seeds), leaves, and seedlings are the leading cause of AM deaths, which account for between 75 and 90 percent of all cases. There is no specific therapy for the illness, but sick horses are given intense veterinary care and IV fluids to keep them hydrated while they recover.

Horses suffering from the disease are frequently observed laying down.

Remove them, as well as any sycamore seedlings that sprout in the spring, from the area.

More information about atypical myopathy

  • What you should be aware of
  • The family issues a warning to other property owners. Assistance with innovative research

3. Oak trees including acorns

Although certain wild animals, such as wolves and bears, rely on acorns for their nutritional requirements, the horse is not among them. Because of the presence of tannic and gallic acids in acorns, they can cause significant harm to the horse gastrointestinal tract and kidneys. It isn’t just the acorns that are harmful to horses; all portions of the oak tree are poisonous to them. Strangely enough, there is anecdotal evidence that some horses become ‘addicted’ to acorns and will overindulge in them to the point of being unwell.

However, unless your horse has a history of eating acorns, making a definitive diagnosis might be difficult.

The use of activated charcoal (which absorbs toxins from the intestine and allows them to be harmlessly expelled) is proven to be a successful therapy if administered shortly after intake; however, always consult your veterinarian before administering any medication.

The promise of some sunshine may have us giddy with anticipation, but with it comes the annoyance of flies.

4. Yew

The Yew tree’s leaves, twigs, and bark are all poisonous to horses, and the deadly dose can be as little as a single leaf or a single twig. It has been reported that horses have died after ingesting leaves from the tree’s deadly alkaloids (taxine A and B). Horses have been discovered dead with the leaves still in their mouths. It is one of the most prevalent causes of horse poisoning in France and Belgium, accounting for around a quarter of all cases. Fortunately, the bitter taste of the plant will deter the majority of horses from chewing on it, but it is not a plant to be taken lightly.

Muscle shaking, a lack of coordination, breathing difficulty, a sluggish heart rate, and convulsions are all possible symptoms before to this event.

Equines should never be allowed to roam free in an area where they will have access to yew or if there is the possibility that yew clippings will be thrown into their paddock. If your neighbors grow yew in their gardens, you should speak with them about the risks of this plant.

5. Bracken

Bracken ferns are found on moors and in meadows, and horses will generally avoid eating them unless grass is especially scarce – although some horses do develop a love for them. The good news is that it is only dangerous if used in high doses over a prolonged period of time, such as over a period of many months. Signs to keep an eye out for include: When bracken poisoning occurs, neurological (nervous system) symptoms such as uneasiness, ringing in the ears, staggering, muscular spasms, blindness, and convulsions may occur.

What to do: Bracken is normally avoided by horses, but if you are worried, you should remove it from your horse’s pasture.

Other plants that are toxic to horses include the following:

  • Foxglove, Deadly nightshade, Buttercups, Privet, Rhododendron, St John’s Wort, Potatoes, Meadow Saffron, Horsetails/Tails, Mare’s Water Dropwort, Hemlock, and more plants

During the coronavirus epidemic, we will continue to publish HorseHound as a weekly magazine and to keep our website athorseandhound.co.uk up to date with breaking news, articles, and other information. For more information about magazine subscriptions and access to our premium H H Plus content online, please visit this page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.