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Horse Health – Plants Poisonous To Horses – Part 1

Horse Health – Plants Poisonous To Horses


Rhubarb is pisonous to horses


It is essential that your horse has all the things necessary for a good life, especially food, water, love and attention, excercise etc., but it is just as important that he does not come in contact with poisonous plants. The toxins in these plants vary in intensity, from yew, which is so deadly that a single mouthful kills, to something more mild, like buttercups, which cause little irritating sores to form round their mouths.

Horses tend to avoid toxic plants if they have sufficient grazing, but when there is little left in the way of quality pasture, they turn to all other vegetation, which can, of course, contain deadly poisons.


One mouthful is enough to kill. This deadly plant contains taxine, to which there is no known antidote. It can kill withing minutes of being swallowed, due to heart failure. Symptoms include;


slowing heart rate

cardiac failure


Also known as mares tail, this weed thrives in marshy land. Horses tend to avoid it, but it is sometimes incorporated in hay. It has high levels of silica, and can cause poisoning.


Weakness, uncoordinated rear end

difficulty seeing

high levels of pyruvate in blood


This distinct, fast growing yellow weed thrives almost anywhere, from well tended pastures to wasteland.Even in the most meticulously cared for grassland, it can easily spread through its small, light seeds.

It causes irreversible liver damage and is extremely poisonous, both to livestock and humans. It is poisonous even to touch, the sap enters the bloodstream through the pores in the skin.

It must be dug up, gloves must be worn to do this, and a long thin spade should be used to remove roots to avoid danger of regrowth. Burn, roots and all.







This white flowering plant is extremely toxic to humans and animals, and can even cause damage simply through touch. The sap causes blistering, especially in the presence of sunlight.

Symptoms include;

dilated pupils






blue mouth

weak pulse

Ground ivy

breathing difficulties

salivation/ frothing

excess/ profuse sweating

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