Keeping Our Horses Safe: Top 5 Common Horse Toxins

April 25, 2019

A horse with ASPCA volunteers

Do you know what’s lurking on your farm or property? Horses and all equines are curious creatures just like any other, and they have unique ways of getting into trouble. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) receives thousands of calls annually about potential toxic exposures in horses, and in honor of Help a Horse Day on April 26, we want to make sure you know the most common horse toxins, and how to keep them out of your equine friends’ way. 

Equine Toxins graphic

In addition to our top five toxins, there are various poisonous plants that can cause harm to horses. Make sure you know what plants are in your space before they become a problem, and always ensure that your horse is being fed quality, weed-free hay.

Here are some plants to be on the lookout for:

Sago Palm

Lately, one plant has become a growing cause of pet poisoning across the United States: the Sago Palm. While the Sago Palm’s seeds are the most poisonous component, the entire plant is toxic. Clinical signs of Sago Palm toxicity include vomiting, bloody stools, jaundice, increased thirst, bruising, blood clotting disorders, liver damage or failure and death if not treated immediately.

Oleander and Yew Plants

All parts of the oleander (also referred to as rose-bay) and yew plants are toxic to horses, as well as dogs and cats. An exposure to either plant causes severe cardiac issues and can also cause weakness and even death if not treated quickly. 

Black Walnut

Found in the Eastern and Midwest United States, black walnut is not only a common plant, but the shavings are sometimes used as stall filler. Exposure to black walnut can cause lameness, laminitis and colic for horses.

For a full list of toxic plants, and more important information on toxins for horses, dogs, cats and birds, download the APCC Mobile app today. 

If you suspect your pet has been exposed to any poisonous substances, contact your veterinarian or call Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) at 888-426-4435 immediately.