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What household foods are toxic for horses

Customer Question
What household foods are toxic for horses
Submitted: 9 years ago.Category: Horse Veterinary
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
1/22/2009
Horse Veterinarian: Dr. B., Horse Veterinarian replied 9 years ago
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Horse Veterinarian
Category: Horse Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1,207
Experience: Board Certified Equine Surgeon, Lameness and Sports Medicine Specialist DVM, BSc
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HiCustomer

 

Could you tell me a little more information...

 

Is there a specific food that a horse has ingested or are in interested all the possible household foods in general?

 

Looking forward to your reply...

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Customer reply replied 9 years ago
My neighbor tosses household food scraps to my mini horses.
Usually potato peels etc. Sometimes cooked food scraps and I want to caution him as to what NOT to feed them.
Horse Veterinarian: Dr. B., Horse Veterinarian replied 9 years ago

Thanks for the additional information. I will try to be as broad as possible in my answer. Table scraps in general are not good for horses as the foods that humans eat are tyically much higher in fat and protein then what should be fed to horses. Horses are grazing animals, as such their bodies are adapted to eating multiple small, low nutrition meals throughout the day (grass) as oppose to the human diet where we take in larger calories at a single sittings. The issue that arises is that the horses can become obese from the human diet and/or colic as a result of the high caloric intake. This can also lead to episodes of laminitis. So, in general, human food scraps should not be fed to horses.

 

Specifically, chocolate is dangerous to horses as they are unable to metabolize the theobromine in the chocolate. This can cause severe colic, seizures and metabolic derangements.

 

There has been reports in the veterinary literature of potato poisoning. This was reported in 1985 and was in a horse that consumed large quantities of potatoes. The major danger with potatoes are two fold; if the potato is green or rotten, the chemical composition is different from a mature potato and has been shown to cause toxicosis in all animals including horses. The second problem is that if the potato is whole or even partially whole, it can result in choke. This goes for any of the whole, round, firm fruits or vegetables (oranges, apples, potatoes etc...). I have personally had to remove oranges from a horse's esophagus before.

 

Household plants are also dangerous to horses. These are easily missed when thinking of garbage toxicosis in horses but household plants can result in renal failure, liver damage and colic (depending on the species).

 

Last would be the risk that a horse may react to any of the common chemicals that can end up in the scraps bowl. These can result in colic and other signs depending on the chemicla involved.

 

I would advise against the feeding of any human scraps to your horses. Their bodies just are not set-up to deal with the food the same as a human. Hope this helps. Dr.B

Dr. B.
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