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Part 2: Knowing these toxic plants is important

Giant Hogweed and Common Hogweed
Giant Hogweed and Common Hogweed. Photo: Archive

Finally, we've welcomed summer. This means more time outdoors, both in the pasture and on horseback rides. Everything is blooming and green, and life has returned to nature. However, not all plants are safe for your horse—some are outright toxic and can have deadly consequences. Therefore, we're providing you with an overview of poisonous plants that you may encounter both in the pasture and on your rides and from which your horse should stay away. If you notice any symptoms of poisoning in your horse, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Here is part 2 of poisonous plants that are important to know.

Read also: Part 1: Knowing these toxic plants is important

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Giant Hogweed and Common Hogweed

Symptoms of poisoning:

In rare cases, the poison from hogweed can cause blisters and rashes around the horse's muzzle.

Growing locations:

Common hogweed grows in forests and roadside edges. Giant hogweed grows in damp areas such as meadows and along streams, but it can also be found in gardens and parks.

Lily of the Valley

Symptoms of poisoning:

Skin and eye irritation, colic pain, staggering, and falling pulse. In the final stages, a drop in blood pressure, collapse, and cardiac arrest can occur. Poisoning can occur after the horse has eaten just 1-5 of the Lily of the valley berries.

Growing locations:

It grows particularly in open deciduous and mixed forests and is also found in gardens.

Lupine

Symptoms of poisoning:

Colic attacks. The heart and nervous system may weaken, causing chronic numbness in the limbs. The plant can be deadly for weakened horses.

Growing locations:

It can grow in very nutrient-poor places, for example, sandy soil, beaches, gravel pits, etc.

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Lupine. Photo: Archive

Poison Hemlock and Water Hemlock

Symptoms of Poisoning:

Poison Hemlock symptoms include loss of appetite, fluctuating pulse, salivation, muscle twitching, frequent urination, slow and labored breathing, grinding teeth, paralysis, and death. Water Hemlock symptoms include drooling, seizures, staggering, unconsciousness, difficulty breathing, grinding teeth, and death.

Growing locations:

Poison Hemlock grows on roadsides, in gardens, and parks. Water Hemlock grow along lakes and streams.

Black Nightshade

Symptoms of Poisoning:

Lethargy, drooling, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, staggering, paralysis, and unconsciousness.

Growing Locations:

It grows on fertile agricultural land throughout the country and is regularly seen in open and/or late-sown spring crops.

Bracken

Symptoms of Poisoning:

Staggering, chronic spasms, violent arching of the body backward, slower heart rate, blindness, weakness, and eventual death due to a lack of vitamin B1.

Growing Locations:

On heaths, in open forests, and on pastures. Eagle fern is common throughout Europe.

Celery-leaved Buttercup, Corn Buttercup, Bulbous Buttercup, and Meadow Buttercup

Symptoms of Poisoning:

Drooling, inflammation, and swelling in the mouth, as well as damage to the digestive tract. Diarrhea, colic, and bloody urine may occur, as well as an unsteady gait and weakening of vision. If the horse has consumed many buttercups, seizures, coma, circulatory collapse, and respiratory paralysis may occur.

Growing Locations:

Celery-leaved Buttercup grows by lakes, along streams, and in moist areas.

Corn Buttercup grows on calcareous soil.

Bulbous Buttercup grows in sandy areas, pastures, dikes, etc.

Meadow Buttercup grows in moist areas, pastures, and roadsides.

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