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Dr. Mike
Dr. Mike, Equine Veterinarian
Category: Horse Veterinary
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Experience:  25 years in private equine practice.
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How toxic is the fiddleneck weed to horses, and how much to

Resolved Question:

How toxic is the fiddleneck weed to horses, and how much to they need to consume for problems to occur?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Horse Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Mike replied 8 years ago.

Fiddleneck is one of several plants that contain toxins that cause liver damage. It's unusual for them to eat the plants at pasture, but if they're incorporated into hay, they may ingest a larger amount.

The toxicity is a function of cumulative damage, or eating small amounts over time. Eating 1% of bodyweight over a few weeks can cause clinical problems. Lower amounts will take longer, higher amounts will damage the liver faster.

Because of this, exposure in any amount should be avoided.

Hope this is helpful,

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