A Pretty Poison: Fall Leaves May Be Toxic To Horses

While beautiful, fall can be a time that is fraught with danger for horses that are turned out in pastures with specific types of trees. Falling leaves can pose a very real threat to horses that ingest them. If you suspect a horse in your care has been exposed to any of the following, call your veterinarian immediately.

Types of leaves that are toxic to horses if eaten:

  • Red Maple (Acer rubrum)
    Red maple leaves are highly toxic to horses; ingestion of 3 pounds or more of the fallen leaves is fatal. Many horses that ingest the leaves will die as the red maple destroys red blood cells. Signs of red maple poisoning include jaundice, dark brown urine, difficulty breathing, lethargy, and increased heart and respiration rates.

  • Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)
    Black walnut can grow around pastures or and it can be found in stall bedding. It’s imperative that bedding with black walnut in it is avoided as shavings with any black walnut content are toxic within 24 hours of exposure. Signs of black walnut exposure include laminitis, increased temperature, reluctance to move, difficulty breathing, limb edema, increased digital pulse and increased gut sounds.
  • Oak (Quercus species)
    While you don’t need to cut down every oak tree found in a horse pasture, branches should be trimmed so horses cannot eat them or a fence should be placed around the tree to keep horses away from leaves. Leaves and acorns are both poisonous to horses if ingested in large amounts, resulting in kidney damage and gastroenteritis. Signs of poisoning include depression, constipation, blood in the urine and colic.
  • Cherry and Plum trees
    Leaves, fruit and pits of cherry and plum trees are poisonous, and the trees are most toxic when they are stressed from frost. Symptoms of cherry and plum poisoning include heavy breathing, weakness, anxiety, bright red urine, convulsions and death. As little as 1/4-pound of leaves can be fatal.

Read more at Stable Management.

The post A Pretty Poison: Fall Leaves May Be Toxic To Horses appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.


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