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Growing dangers

A GUIDE TO EIGHT TOXIC PLANTS YOUR HORSE COULD ENCOUNTER.

Some plants can be quite toxic to horses, so it’s important to watch out for them in pastures and hay. While the complete list of poisonous plants is extensive, here are some common varieties that may cause health issues in horses.

BUTTERCUP

With bright yellow blooms, buttercups can be a stubborn wildlower on some farm properties. They grow particularly well in areas with wet soil or clay, and also in pastures located near a combination of woods and cleared regions.

The entire buttercup plant is toxic, although the yellow lowers (when present) are the most potent. Buttercups contain ranunculin—an ordinary harmless glycoside which, unfortunately, breaks down into an irritant when it is disturbed, such as by the chewing motion of a curious horse. As a result, horses who over-indulge in buttercups may suffer from blisters in their mouths or mild to severe digestive issues.

Horses tend to avoid buttercups unless there is little else to graze on.
PAM PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY/SHUTTERSTOCK
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