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Bryony Plant Poisoning in Horses

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Treatment

 

There is no specific course of treatment for poisoning by the bryony plant. Sometimes symptomatic therapy can make things a great deal easier, especially in the cases that are known to be less severe.

 

In cases with diarrhea, fluid therapy is standard treatment for lessening the likelihood of dehydration and shock. If the cause of the toxicity can be traced to a plant, the use of active charcoal therapy can be used to some effectiveness in neutralizing the toxin and promoting its expulsion from the body. Sometimes paraffin treatment has been proven to be useful in some instances of poisoning as well. Occasionally, an anti-inflammatory such as flunixine meglumine may be given, as well as systemic antibiotics which will help prevent secondary bacterial infections.

 

Living and Management

 

It is a part of responsible horse ownership to ensure that your horse does not have access to the types of plants that pose a threat. This is not always possible to do, but knowing what to look for, and taking regular inventories of the areas in which your horse roams, is essential.

 

In as much as you are capable of doing, if you find bryony (or any poisonous plant) growing in your area, remove the plants and all of its roots. Often, the plant will be too closely attached to another plant that is either difficult to remove, or that the owner of the land does not wish to remove (such as a large tree). In these cases, removing as much of the plant as possible, and returning to the area to remove new growth may be the best preventative possible. Alternatively, restrict your horse’s access to areas populated by toxic plants. This can be done easily with a simple electric fence.

 

Prevention

 

Because horses will graze on the greenery of the area in which they roam, it is important to be aware of what is growing in your area. Birds are frequent disseminators of seeds and berries, so plants may quickly take up residence in a spot in which they did not reside before. Taking regular inventory of the area that is accessible to your horse is the best way to prevent poisoning. Research of the plants that are commonly found in your zone, along with knowledge of the known symptoms of plant toxicity are always helpful in protecting your horse's well-being.

 

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