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Poisonous Plants and Horses

Poisonous Plants and Horses

“Being proactive is a much simpler and safer solution than realizing ingestion of a toxin has happened after the fact.”

Because horses are foragers, it is natural for them to munch on whatever vegetation is nearby. However, some plants, trees, and shrubs can be extremely harmful to your equestrian. If at all possible, all potentially toxic plants should be removed from the horse’s area. Being proactive is a much simpler and safer solution than realizing ingestion of a toxin has happened after the fact. Below is a list of the most toxic plants trees and shrubs to your horse. These may cause death if ingested.

Related Article: Eight Spring Horse Care Tips >>

  • Azalea
  • Bitterweed
  • Blister Beetle Intoxication (or Alfalfa Hay)
  • Coffee Weed
  • Common Groundsel
  • Cowbane
  • Daphne
  • Death Camas
  • Delphiniums
  • Fiddleneck
  • Foxglove
  • Goldenrod
  • Ground Hemlock
  • Hemlock
  • Ivy Snake Vine
  • Japanese Yew
  • Jimmy or Burrow Weed
  • Locoweed
  • Milkweed
  • Monk’s Hood
  • Oleander
  • Phalaris
  • Poinsettia
  • Poke
  • Pokeweed
  • Privet Hedge Plant
  • Ragwort
  • Rattle Box
  • Rattleweed
  • Rayless
  • Red maple
  • Russian Knapweed
  • Salvation Jane Paterson’s Curse
  • Snakeroot or Richweed
  • Stinking Willie
  • Vetch
  • Water Hemlock
  • White Snakeroot
  • Yellow Burr Weed
  • Yellow Oleander
  • Yellow Star Thistle
  • Yew Tree

Additionally, there are many other plants that are dangerous to horses if ingested although the repercussions are not as severe. Symptoms of ingestion of the following plants include diarrhea, colic, liver damage, photosensitivity and sunburn dermatitis, blurred vision, muscle tremors, excessive salivation, staggering depression, shock, poor performance, jaundice, infertility in mares, and runny eyes.

  • Argentine Grass
  • Blue Panic
  • Buffel Grass
  • Castor Oil Plant
  • Cestrum
  • Clovers Medics
  • Dallas Grass
  • Ergot of Paspalum
  • Ergot of Rye
  • Kleingrass
  • Lantana
  • Parsley
  • Poppy
  • Potato
  • Rhubarb
  • Setaria
  • Soursob
  • Wisteria

Each of these plants, trees, or shrubs may exhibit one or more of these symptoms. Please note that no single plant will cause a horse to display all of these signs. If you suspect your horse has ingested a poisonous plant your veterinarian should be immediately contacted.