Discuss Wild Onions at the Horse Health forum - Horse Forums. RimRock has been coming up to me with onion breath. we have wild onions growing ...
RimRock has been coming up to me with onion breath. we have wild onions growing everywhere and he has decided he likes them. Onions are bad for horses and can cause liver damge so my horse health book says. But does any one know how many and how often a horse has to indulge in eating them before they are harmful? I am presently trying to dig them up but they are everywhere.
When lower doses are consumed on a regular basis, or Large amounts are consumed this may cause anemia...(the same goes for garlic....to much can cause anemia).
However most horses will not consume enough to make them sick, unless that is all they have to eat in the pasture.
Launa, found you a couple of links:
Onions contain N-propyl disulfide, which destroys red blood cells. Cultivated onions contain the same toxin and are often used as livestock feed. Many onions are usually required to cause poisoning; often pastures containing onions are heavily grazed without problems. The amount of toxin in the plants varies based on factors that are not well understood. Cattle and horses are susceptible to onion poisoning, and cats are very sensitive to it. Sheep are more resistant, but have been poisoned by onions in some instances.
Toxicity. Cattle are most susceptible to onion poisoning. Horses, cats, and dogs are less susceptible. Goats and sheep are fairly resistant to poisoning. Diets containing greater than 25% dry matter of onion can cause clinical signs of anemia. Most poisoning is due to cultivated, not wild, onions. In cats, a dose of 5 g/kg body weight can cause clinical signs.
This last one shows that diets have to contain greater than 25%. Unless your boy is gorging on them, he ought to be ok.
You might ask the vet if its worth using a supplement like Red Cell for a while.
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Thanks Cindy for the info! I quit digging!
If he does become anemic from eating onions, red cell (or any similar product) will not help.
If he has other stuff in the pasture to eat (or hay), it's doubtful to think that he would consume enough to be harmful. I swear, they can eat one or two bites of wild onion and smell like they've eaten a truckload of it.
Our horses all used to eat them as well as garlic that grew on the edge of the pasture from the garden area and none ever had a bad reaction. they used to eat Mulberry leaves too, which is supposed to be poisonous, but never had any reactions. It really made me wonder about what I was reading, but I guess some horses are more sensitive.
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