Beware what you plant around horses

By Gary Sliworsky
Ag rep, Emo

The following is the latest “Horse News and Views,” which is prepared by Dr. Bob Wright, Animal Health and Welfare, OMAFRA, in co-operation with the staff and researchers of the University of Guelph.
The monthly column highlights research topics, extension resources, reminders of common poisonings, disease, or production concerns, and coming events, and is placed on our website (
Planting of gladioli and irises (flags, fleur-de-lis) along the side of paddock fences is not a good idea.
Consumption of small quantities of their rhizomes or large amounts of leaves, even dried, have a purgative effect and may cause a horse’s death.
Disposal of plant debris in places such as the manure pile also can be problematic if horses can reach over the fence.
In other news, new regulations for the disposal of dead farm animals in Ontario came into force March 27 under:
•the Disposal of Dead Farm Animals regulation under the Nutrient Management Act; and
•the Disposal of Deadstock regulation under the Food Safety and Quality Act.
The new regulations provide more disposal options for livestock producers and meat plant operators, with measures that will protect the environment.
Finally, a foal should nurse within two-four hours of birth to maximize the absorption of colostral antibodies.
The foal’s intestinal tract can absorb antibodies from the colostrum for the first 24 hours after foaling. The foal should pass meconium (a yellow fecal material) by six hours after foaling.
The navel should be dipped in tamed iodine or chlorhexidine solution daily for several days after birth. Ask your veterinarian for advice on the need to give tetanus antitoxin at birth and antibiotics.
For more information, refer to the information sheet, “Foaling and Predicting Foaling Time,” at
For more information, contact Dr. Bob Wright at 1-519-846-3412 or visit
Dates to remember
•July 8-11–Large animal clinic dates for Dr. Blair Simonson (call 274-7393 to book an appointment).

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