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New form of fescue-grass intoxication in horses
A new form of toxicity called equine fescue oedema is described in this new Australian report. 48 of 56 horses on six farms in different states of Australia were affected, and 4 horses died. The clinical and biochemical signs differ from those which have been described in earlier reports.

The clinical signs included inappetence, depression, and subcutaneous oedema of the head, neck, chest and abdomen. Affected horses had very low plasma albumin values.

All horses were grazing pastures that had been sown with varieties of Mediterranean tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) that carry the endophyte known as Max P or Max Q.

It is proposed that a pyrrolizidine alkaloid, N-acetyl norloline, which is produced by the Max P endophyte, may be responsible for this new toxicity in horses.


Source: CA Bourke, E Hunt, R Watson (2009): Fescue-associated oedema of horses grazing on endophyte-inoculated tall fescue grass (Festuca arundinacea) pastures. In: Australian Veterinary Journal, Volume 87 Issue 12, Pages 492 - 498




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EQUINE

The farrier role in supporting horse owners to prevent laminitismembers
Emerging research highlights how, due to demographic changes in horse owner populations in Western societies, complex owner–horse relationships are leading to inappropriate horse care, including overnutrition, which in turn can lead to laminitis. Farriers, due to their regular visits, may be in a position to support owners in dealing with this problem. This study explored whether UK farriers have a role in working with horse owners to support horse welfare and prevent laminitis.

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