Toxic Plants

Yikes, what is that plant? Do you have any of these plants around your pastures? For additional plants including weeds, view this list.

TREES


Black Walnut

Black Walnut

Black Walnut

Toxin: Toxic principle unknown

Route of Transmission: Through bedding, when sawdust or shavings from the tree are used. Poisoning due in part to the ingestin of inhalation of a toxic substance present in black walnut.

Signs of Poisoning: Laminitis, leg edema, (swelling), unwillingness to move, depression, colic, and in some cases, respiratory difficulties.

What to do: Call your vet immediately. Remove immediately from walnut shavings. Wash horse’s legs with mild detergent.

 

Black Locust

Black Locust

Black Locust

Toxin: Glycoside, Robitin, and the phytotoxins Robin and Phasing

Route of Transmission: Ingestion of tree bark from trees or posts used for fencing.

Signs of poisoning: Weakness, cold extremities, dilated pupils, weak irregular pulse, and posterior paralysis.

What to do: Call your veterinarian immediately.

 

Red Maple

Red Maple

Red Maple

Toxin: Toxic principle unknown

Route of Transmission: Ingestion of wilted or dried red maple leaves and tree bark. Wilted and dried leaves can remain toxic up to 30 days.

Signs of Poisoning: Severe anemia, weakness, depression, pale mucous membranes, increased respiratory and heart rate, cyanosis, and dark brown urine.

What to do: Call your veterinarian immediately.

 

Oak

Oak

Oak

Toxin: Acorns containing tannin. Leaves and bark contain Gallatin.

Route of Transmission: Ingestion of acorns, buds, leaves and blossoms.

Signs of Poisoning: Anorexia, constipation, rough coat, dry muzzle, abdominal pain, thirst, and frequent urination. Bloody diarrhea occurs as a result of intestinal ulceration and necrosis. Kidney and liver damage apparent within one week of ingestion.

What to do: Call your veterinarian immediately.

 

Cherry

Cherry

Cherry

Toxin: Cyanogenic glycosides

Route of Transmission: Young or wilted leaves are the most toxic. Water consumption shortly after ingestion promotes quick release of cyanide into the bloodstream.

Signs of Poisoning: Increased respiration, weak pulse, convulsions, bright red mucous membranes, slobbering and rapid death.

What to do: Call your veterinarian immediately.


 PLANTS

Oleander

Oleander

Oleander

Toxin: Cardiac glycosides similar to digitoxin.

Route of Transmission: Ingestion of plant

Signs of Poisoning: Colic, vomiting, diarrhea, irregular heartbeat, muscle tremors and paralysis.

What to do: Call your veterinarian immediately.

 

 

Water Hemlock

Water Hemlock

Water Hemlock

Toxin: Alcohol like cytotoxin

Route of Transmission: Ingestion of the root or base of plant, which holds the yellow oily juice-like toxin. Often found along roadsides or barren pasture in wet, rich soils and along ditches.

Signs of Poisoning: Violent convulsions within 30 minutes of ingestion. Death if more than five pounds eaten.

What to do: Call your veterinarian immediately. Remove plant from area.

 

Poison Hemlock

Poison Hemlock

Poison Hemlock

Toxin: Alkaloids and conine, a nicotine like substance

Route of Transmission: Ingestion of the root or base of the plant. Often found along roadsides or barren pastures.

Signs of Poisoning: Rapid excitement, ataxia, depression and an odor to breath and urine. Death if more than 5 pounds eaten.

What to do: Call your veterinarian immediately. Remove plant from area.

Johnson Grass

Johnson Grass

Sudan/Johnson Grass

Toxin: Cyanogenic glycosides similar to churrin.

Route of Transmission: Ingestion of new growth along roadsides.

Signs of Poisoning: Urinary incontinence, cystitis, ataxia, and paralysis from nerve damage.

What to do: Call your veterinarian immediately. Remove grass from hay or purchase cyanide free grass/hay mixes.

 

Milkweed

Milkweed

Milkweed

Toxin: Ingestion of plant found in dry sandy pastures or fields.

Signs of Poisoning: Depression, weakness, staggering and seizures that resemble tetanus, i.e. muscle rigidity.

What to do: Call your veterinarian immediately. Check hay and pasture for dried milkweed. While some eastern strains are not toxic, it is best to avoid all types.

 

Tall Fescue

Tall Fescue

Tall Fescue

Toxin: Endophyte fungus

Route of Transmission: Ingestion of healthy fescue plant which grows through out most of the year.

Signs of Poisoning: Lack of normal signs of foaling, difficult birth because of delayed foaling date, decreased milk and colostrum production, retained placenta, abortion and laminitis.

What to do: Call your vet immediately. Remove endophyte  infested fescue from pasture and replace with endophyte-free fescue or alternative grass. Remove pregnant mare from fescue pasture and hay three months prior to foal date.