What causes grass staggers? and is there ways to prevent it?
I have a mare, that I have had for two and a half years now, she is 25, 15.2hh, and on a diet of grass, hay, and water.
But, when I bought her, the owners neglected to tell me she was very prone to getting grass staggers, so badly that they frequently had the vet out to her because she would go down, and wouldn't/couldn't get up. Or they would load her into the float, and by the time they got to a show she was "drunk" as they called it.
But I am on dairy pasture, and while she has been with me she has never once staggered even slightly. But this summer has only just started and the ground and grass is already very dry. I know what staggers is, and I know dad's cows get it during most summers when it is dry, but what causes it in horses? And is there anything I can do with her, or feed to her, to prevent it or lessen the effects? I figured I would ask now before she has a chance to get staggers, so I can get in ahead of time and help her out, I don't know about you but I wouldn't like trying to walk around drunk 24/7, so my guess is, neither will my horse!
We have a lot of hay here, and because we have cows and calves we have things like palm kernel, which I have been told is fine to feed to horses, but only a little, and only if it is shed stored, which ours is. (but I haven't tried feeding it to any of my horses as of yet)
We also have chaff, the one that horses can eat (I read the bag).
Would magnesium help?
And if she does get stagger's, what can I do to make her more comfortable until the vet can get out?
R.I.P ~ Bubbles - 25yo tb mare - 13.04.2011 ~ 8:30am ~ passed away naturally and peacefully in my arms
Last edited by HollyBubbles; 12-14-2010 at 06:38 PM.