Monthly Archives: December 2015

Horses in Virginia are at risk of Liver failure due to Panicgrass or Panicum.

Horses in Virginia are at risk of Liver failure due to Panicgrass or Panicum.

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According to Haymarket Vet (http://haymarketvet.com/fall-panicum-grass-and-liver-disease/) Panicgrass is causing Fall Panicum Toxicosis in horses.

“In 2004, our practice was involved in documenting an important toxin for horses—fall Panicum (Panicum dichotomiflorum) grass.  This common native grass has been fed to horses in hay and in pasture probably since the Europeans first brought horses to our area.  But, while we know that it doesn’t cause illness all the time, certain growing conditions can cause it to become toxic, as it did in Nokesville, VA in 2004.  We don’t know what triggers the grass to become toxic, but we do know that it sometimes does become toxic, and the conditions are right this year. This study proved the hepatotoxicity: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/17186859/

Currently, there are several cases of liver disease in Fauquier, Clark and Loudon counties that appear to be from grazing Panicum grass in the pasture. Some signs of toxicity from eating the grasses includes: decreased appetite, lethargy, somnolence (unusual periods of sleepiness), mild colic, or neurological signs. Some horses have no symptoms at all.

If you have this plant in your pasture or if you find it in your hay cut this year, you may want to have your horses tested for liver disease; this involves a simple blood draw.”

Below is a link on more information about Liver Disease, symptoms, and treatment options.

http://www.tsln.com/agliving/equine/7614069-111/liver-horse-says-disease

Chance’s Face Lift

I brought Chance in from his turn out this evening and immediately noticed this flap of skin hanging off of his forehead.  Another emergency vet visit…yay!  Unfortunately, due to the skin flap being to the side and not hanging downward from the top, Chance needed staples…I believe it was 14 staples in the end and two cuts.

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Needless to say, the vet did a phenomenal job stapling his poor forehead.

“But Baby It’s Cold Outside…”

Here are some helpful ways to know when you should blanket your horse and what type of blanket to use.

BlanketTempChart_0 Untitled 2 Temperature-Chart* Sources: Weatherbeeta.com, Auburn University