Did you know that cockleburs (Xanthium genus), those annoying burs that stick to your clothes and scratch your skin, are toxic if consumed? Most people are not in the habit of consuming the prickly, spiny seed pods, but they can be incorporated into animal feeds and hay. Horses, pigs, and cattle can all become poisoned. Pigs are the species most commonly poisoned from these seedlings.
Is your horse showing clinical signs of weakness? Does your horse appear to have difficulty controlling movements of its tongue or show any other signs of dysphagia (difficulty eating)? These may be the early warning signs that you horse is suffering from a toxin produced by a type of bacteria known as Clostridium botulinum.
Is your horse feeling under the weather, running a temperature and coughing? Think your horse may of caught the flu? You could be right! In fact equine influenza, an Orthomyxovirus, is the most frequently diagnosed cause of viral respiratory disease in the horse. This virus is endemic all over the world except in Iceland and in New Zealand. Influenza A viruses can infect a wide variety of species including humans, wild and domestic birds, pigs, sea mammals, dogs, cats, and even ferrets.
Are your horses on a poor pasture this fall? Is there a beautiful red maple tree in the field? You might want to think twice about this tree being a pasture-mate to your horses. Green or wilted leaves of the red maple tree can be hazardous to your horse’s health.
Consumption of the wilted leaves of the red maple will cause an acute and profound Heinz body anemia (destruction of red blood cells) and methemoglobin production.
The toxin involved in the poisoning has, to-date, not been identified.
Are you currently breeding horses? Are you vaccinating your horses for Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA)? A 2005 study found that a mere 11.7% of breeding operations are vaccinating for this highly contagious, reportable, viral disease that causes sporadic outbreaks of respiratory infection and abortion in horses.
Filed Under: Horses
Is your horse suffering from repeated bouts of coughing, especially after being exercised? Have you heard your horse wheezing? Your horse may be suffering from chronic allergen-induced respiratory disease, termed recurrent airway obstruction (RAO). Much like asthma in humans, heaves, or “broken wind” as it is more commonly called, causes inflammation in the smaller airways of the lungs and constriction of the bronchioles (breathing tubes) in response to environmental allergen exposure.
In the United States, Lyme Borreliosis is the most commonly-reported tick-transmitted disease in humans. Lyme disease is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi which is a spirochete (corkscrew-shaped bacteria) that is transmitted by various Ixodes ticks. Lyme disease is also seen in Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and Australia.
Vesicular stomatitis (VS) is a viral disease of horses, cattle and swine that produces characteristic lesions known as vesicles and erosions. After a short incubation period of anywhere from 3 to 15 days, affected animals will have an elevated temperature, appear lethargic (depressed) and anorexic, and often exhibit drooling of saliva (ptyalism) and lameness.
The castor bean plant (Ricinus communis) or palma christi is a common ornamental houseplant with large, palmated, lobed leaves that may be found in almost any location in the United States. The plant is also grown for the manufacturing of castor oil. This same plant has a more sinister side and may be used to produce a potent phytotoxin called ricin.