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xxBarry Godden 04-13-2011 06:04 AM

Reactions to Oil Seed Rape
Of our five horses down at the barn
One, DiDi has a dry cough - there is no discharge and she does not become distressed under exercise. She is herself - other than for the last three weeks she has had what is best described as a 'smoker's cough'
The vet has examined her and said - 'wait for it to go away'.

Two of the other horses have had minor cuts -
one by the wither (from rolling on a stone),
the other on the chest( we think a horse fly bite) -
and in both cases the surrounding flesh swelled up and eventually, the wound became 'pussie'

The fourth horse, the day before a national dressage competition, threw a complete hissy fit - it charged about, over reached itself to the extent that we are worried that by the end of the day it will be lame. The other four horses got on with grazing and took no notice of the freaking out.

Now of course , each of these oddities could be coincidental but we are looking for possible causes.

Could it possibly be a reaction to the oil seed rape which has just started to flower in many of the fields surrrounding the barn? Indeed before our fields were converted to grass last year, the latest crop in 2009 had been rapeseed. There are still one or two sprigs here and there which we are pulling up.

I believe that rape seed can induce a reaction in humans - has anyone out there heard of a reaction with horses?

Until relatively recently with the advent of bio diesel, rape was not a traditional crop in this area but it has been found to grow well locally and the demand is increasing.

Northern 04-13-2011 11:08 AM

I've posted on my research on rapeseed oil, "Canola" oil as it's called in the Western Hemisphere ("Can" stands for Canada, where big business & government campaigned to the pubic on its benefits). My findings caused me to stop ingesting it myself & also not to feed it to horses/animals.

Is rapeseed oil banned in UK, Barry, for livestock? I read that it is banned in Europe; caused eye deterioration.

Everyone on my Canola threads poo-pooed any risks; however there's still info online, I'm sure.

From the above, you can guess what my answer is. I'm glad that you're considering the possibility that this plant is causing these issues with the horses. Good luck!

xxBarry Godden 04-13-2011 11:48 AM

All of a sudden, in the rape season, a lot of horses have 'ailments' , not seemingly related to eachother but almost as a kind of common virus, which attacks the horse's weak spot.

The horses don't seem to eat the stalks or flowers but presumably there is some 'spray' off the flower which they absorb.

Or am I being neurotic?

and more importantly - what could I do anyway?
I can't stop farmers growing it - neither can I filter the air the horses breathe.

But it is very funny that so many horses locally have an ailment which is hard to allocate a cause to. All we are presently doing is treating the symptoms.

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