Is There Anything To Be Cautious As A Horse Owner? Common Plants That Are Poisonous To Horses 2022


There’s a chance that your horse’s pasture is hiding some poisonous plants, and if it does, those plants can make your horse very sick. The symptoms can range from something as mild as a dull ache in the stomach to something as serious as life-threatening colic or founder.

Both red maples and oak trees are notorious for causing colic in horses. Toxic throughout the growing season and even more so after the leaves have fallen, red maples are the cause of anemia as well as damage to the kidneys. The ingestion of oak leaves can result in the formation of hard, dark manure, as well as bloating, diarrhea, and mouth sores.

Other types of trees, such as horse chestnuts, buckeyes, black cherries, and black locusts, have no business growing in the horse pasture. It is not recommended to use shrubs like oleanders, mountain laurels, azaleas, or rhododendrons in this environment. The Japanese yew is particularly poisonous; ingestion of even a few leaves can be fatal. Avocado, too, is dangerously toxic to horses.

It is important to clear pastures of weeds that are common in meadows, such as jimsonweed, pokeweed, and buttercups. Be on the lookout for sorrel and shamrocks; both of these small plants contain oxalates, which can aggravate inflammation in the stomach and intestines if consumed. When consumed in large quantities, they can cause calcium levels to drop.

Your pastures need careful management and upkeep to reduce the number of invasive plants like spurge, wild mustard, and horsetail. These plants have been linked to a wide variety of unexplained colic cases.

It is important to keep in mind that plants such as cockspur hawthorn, mesquite, and persimmons can cause obstructions in the small and large intestines of horses. Avoid planting morning glories, foxgloves, tomato, or potato plants in areas where your horse can access them.

This list does not contain everything. An excellent list of plants that are harmful to horses can be found on the website of the Department of Animal Science at Cornell University, which can be accessed for additional details.

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