• Acorn Poisoning

    03/08/2016

    Did you know that acorns are poisonous to horses?

    Acorns and other parts of oak trees such as the stems, oak blossoms and leaves are toxic to horses if they are eaten in large quantities.

    If your horse has enough foliage normally they will not eat acorns, but for some once they get the taste for them they will seek them out.

    The oak is toxic due to a product called tannins which can cause colic, kidney failure and sometimes death.

    Symptoms of this condition are colic, blood in the urine or faeces, sometimes diarrhoea and your horse going off its food. You may see pieces of the acorn kernel in the horse faeces.

    Treatment is very limited for this, and it is not very pleasant; it involves intravenous fluids and laxatives until the acorns have passed.

    If the damage has already been done to the horse’s kidneys or there is gut damage, it is not always possible to save the horse.

    The best way to avoid these problems is to move your horse out of any field with an oak tree during the autumn time, as it is impossible to pick the acorns up as they fall.

    If you think that your horse has eaten any, keep a close eye on them and if in doubt call the vet.