Do you know what plants are growing in your paddock?
Do you know which ones could potentially kill your horse?
There are many poisonous weeds in Australia (and around the world) that are responsible for serious illness and death in horses. Thankfully, these plants are generally not eaten by our equine friends, but in paddocks that are overgrazed, or in drought periods, when feed is low and poor, the likelihood of ingestion of these plants becomes higher.
It is therefore imperative, as horse owners, to be able to identify, control, and remove these weeds, as well as identify the signs of toxicity from ingestion.
Common symptoms of plant toxicity include:
Weakness and lethargy
Colic or diarrhoea
Increased heart rate and breathing rate
Staggering or lack of coordination
If you suspect your horse has ingested toxic plant materials, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Below are images of the 18 common plants in Australia that cause toxicity in horses. You can get more information and a full guide at www.rirdc.gov.au