site logo

Forage Poisoning

Categories: Diseases of Animals

Last fall one of our horses was taken ill and had a swollen jaw. He died

soon and we supposed that he had been kicked and died of lockjaw. This

spring another was taken ill. He began dragging around, making an effort

to eat and drink, but not being able to swallow much. Something seemed

wrong with his throat and his hind legs. In two or three days he got

down, seeming to have no strength in his back. He kept struggling for
/> two days, not being able to swallow much; so we put him out of his

misery. Since then two others have gone off the same way.

The trouble is due to forage poisoning, caused by the eating food

infested with poisonous moulds. The symptoms are inability to swallow

(paralysis of the muscles of deglutition) and paresis of the hind and

forequarters. When the symptoms become advanced, treatment is of little

avail. However, further troubles can be prevented by ascertaining the

food which is infested with this mould. Ofttimes, however, such food may

be apparently clean to the eye. Make a complete change of food and a

thorough cleaning of your stable and corrals of all old fodder which

might be in the mangers, or in any accessible place. Very frequently old

food which is left in the bottom of mangers becomes mouldy, and horses

picking for grain which might be left in it, eat considerable quantities

of this spoiled fodder, get poisoned.