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Acorn Poisoning in Horses

Treatment

 

There is no antidote for acorn poisoning. Activated charcoal has been known to be an effective treatment for acorn poisoning, if given immediately after acorn ingestion, as it can absorb toxins in the gut and allow them to be excreted from the system.

 

As dehydration is a common sign of acorn toxicity, IV fluid therapy is often warranted. This will help combat fluid loss from diarrhea and help ward off impending renal failure. IV fluid therapy can also help support the horse’s circulatory system and assist in the prevention of shock in severe cases of acorn toxicosis.

 

Living and Management

 

After heavy winds or a storm there may be so many oak leaves and acorns on the ground that your horse will eat enough of them to cause a toxic effect on its system. Some horses will develop an extreme liking for acorns and oak leaves, and will wait for them to fall from the tree, to the extent that other foods will be disregarded.

 

Prevention

 

The only way to protect your horse from acorn poisoning is by fencing off oak trees and keeping your horse out of the wind-path of falling acorns and leaves. If there are oak trees near the fence line of your horse’s pasture, it is a good practice to clear fallen branches after a storm.

 

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