Horse Previews Magazine website - Posted on 05/07/2001; 2:00:00PM.

What You Can Do to Prevent Horse Poisoning

  • Develop a pasture management plan
    Control weeds and poisonous plants
    Maintain healthy (competitive)pasture
    Don't let animals overgraze pastures
    Irrigate new seedings
    Fertilize grass

  • Learn about poisonous plants
    Learn stage/time they are most toxic
    Avoid infested areas at these times
    In drought situations/late summer
    In early spring before grass grows

  • Take special care in "new" areas
    When unloading animals
    With new animals
    When in unfamiliar territory

  • Watch young or new animals closely

  • Check area before tying/picketing horses
  • Provide ample feed, water, and nutrients
    At regular intervals
    At home
    On the trail

  • Don't dismiss unusual behavior
    Keep animals quiet, sheltered, fed and watered
    Take careful notes of behavior
    Symptoms vary with level of toxin
    Not all symtoms seen in all poisonings
    Consult a veterinarian, as soon as possible
    Collect samples of suspected plants
    Include leaves, stems, roots, flowers, fruit
    Keep sample fresh, refrigerated in plastic bag
    Or press sample dry between newspaper under

    Common Plants Toxic To Horses
    Seagrass Arrowgrass, Bracken Fern, Death Camas, Fiddleneck/Tarweed, Horsetail, Larkspur, Locoweeds, Milkweeds, St. Johnswort/Goatweed, Tansy Ragwort, Water Hemlock, Yellow Starthistle, Downy Brome, Docks, Ergot, Potatoes, Nitrate-Accumulating Plants.

    Other Plants to Avoid
    Avocado trees- leaves, stems, bark, Yew trees, Oleander bushes, Ponderosa pine trees- needles.

    Let Them Eat Grass!

    This is not a complete list. For further information contact:
    Cooperative Extension, Washington State University, Spokane County, N. 222 Havana, Spokane, WA 99202. 509-553-2048.

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