Quote 4the day: Lessons are learnt in life and horses are our teachers...
Fact 4the day: Poisioning by Aflatoxins
There are a lot of different types of plants that have proven to be toxic to horses, and while many horse owners do take the time to research the various poisonous plants so that they can take steps to protect their horses, there are certain chemicals that have also proven to be toxic to horses. Aflatoxins are one of many different types of chemicals that ha...ve proven to be toxic to horses, and they can come in many forms. Usually produced by a type of fungus called Aspergillus flavus, aflatoxins have been found in several different types of foodstuffs, usually to the surprise of the horse owner. The Aspergillus mold is a naturally occurring fungus that proliferates in humid conditions, particularly in crops, hay, vegetation, soil, and grains.
Symptoms and Types
Acute Aflatoxin Poisoning
• Bleeding from the nose
•Ataxia (loss of coordination)
•Recumbence (lying down)
Chronic Aflatoxin Poisoning
•Blood in stool
•Formation of hematomas beneath the skin
•Ingestion of food that is contaminated with toxic aflatoxins, such as Aspergillus flavus
•Found in certain feeds that have been inadvertently contaminated
•Includes: sorghum, maize, cottonseed, rice, and anything with this type of mixture in them
Only your veterinarian will be able to accurately diagnose poison by aflatoxins. This is because it is not the type of chemical poisoning that causes death, at least not in most cases and not immediately. The more severe the poisoning, the more serious the symptoms are, but there is no doubt that it can get serious. If you suspect that your horse has been poisoned by something, call your veterinarian immediately for advisement. You will need to give a thorough history of your horse’s health history, recent activities, and eating habits.
There is no specific type of treatment available for poisoning by aflatoxins. The best methods of treatment, and those that have proven the most effective and reliable are by oral administration of liquid paraffin and activated charcoal. Activated charcoal is known to absorb toxins, allowing them to pass through the system without having to be regurgitated. Liquid paraffin helps to get all of the toxins out of the gut and digestive system, but it must be administered in large amounts to be effective.
Living and Management
There really is no way to avoid poisoning by aflatoxins since most cases are inadvertent anyway. It is important to know what is poisonous to your horse so that steps can be taken to avoid instances of toxicity when possible, but there is no way to be sure. Inspection of foods for the presence of mold may help in the avoidance of aflatoxin poisoning. This type of poisoning more often causes illness, very rarely leading to a fatality, so strict attention to the instructions of your veterinarian will lead to a fast and healthy recovery.
Thought 4the day: In life sometimes you come across people that are bullies weather verbally or physically. Its a fact of life that there are some somewhere. We have come across a few that seem to feel threatened by the fact we are here and not in it for the money or the fame but just for the horses. Then if you look in the field at your horses and ponies. Some groups are harmonious and love to just relax and move along. But then in some herds there is a bully one that does take things to the extreme. We have had two of late. One we moved into a different group and he settled instantly as the under dog. Another who is alot bigger bullies and bites, kicks all the others to the point his been put in a small field by himself. He is more settled like this which makes the group happier and a mare who is more placid has taken over and sorting everything out. Horses can be just like us humans. Some can be dipolmatic, born leaders. Others can force their way to the top with threats and beatings. Some just prefer the shadows and to be led. Each is unique...