Fescue feedback please!
My mare is in the last few weeks of her pregnancy and she has found a way to stick her head through the fence to eat the green lawn grass on the other side. I asked my husband tonight what kind of grass it is and he said fescue!! I know that it is dangerous to pregnant mares and the baby in the last 60 to 90 days of gestation and now I'm terrified! The foals movement has slowed way down also. I did some research though and it appears that only the "tall fescue" is dangerous, nothing is said about red fescue, which is what we have. I can keep her away from it from now on, and chances are good that she has not gotten a lot of it, but I don't know how much it takes for trouble to brew. I'm calling the vet tomorrow but in the mean time, can anyone offer any input that could put my mind at ease? Btw, it is a common grass for lawns and even pasture, so I'm wondering if it really is just the tall fescue that is the issue. Aaaah! I'm so worried!
Talk to your vet. If you're worried at all about fescue, there is a new (in the last year or so) Rx called Equidone that you can give your mare the last couple weeks before foaling that neutralizes fescue toxicity.
Here is an article I found:
Creeping Red Fescue - Identification and Usefulness in Horse Pastures
With a little blurb in a book:
I think she'll be okay, OP.
Horses are huge animals.
It takes a lot of anything to be toxic.
Reminds me of the time a yearling I had here for someone got into a pack of rat killer. (long story).
The vet came running....mostly because I made no sense on the phone though the tears.
Then he pointed out most of it was on the ground.
What he ate was nothing by body weight.
Ok, thanks for the great article SEA, I guess red fescue is useful to horses, doesnt say if its dangerous to broomares so maybe it isnt? I'll be talking to the vet today and find out more. She is driving me crazy. A bag one day, the next day,no bag. Fescue can cause this although, it could just be normal for her too.
Cornell University Department of Animal Science
This one specifically mentions tall fescue. I would still chat to the vet, although I would also do some more research myself. Vets can't know EVERYTHING about everything, and may not know if red fescue is any different.
Remember horses know what they can and can't eat for the most part. Once I caught mine eating fallen leaves (they were brown) and I freaked.. but then the BO said that's a natural dewormer and he's taken care of himself.
Honestly I think baby and momma will be fine, and I agree to keep on researching it! The vet will definitely have some gaps in his/her knowledge since he most likely didn't specialize in botany.
You're a great horse mom for caring and being so concerned for their safety and well being :)
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