got dandelions? (serious stuff)

Campobello, SC(Zone 7a)

or weeds that look like them? Depending on which article you read and which you tend to believe, they are toxic to horses and can cause "Australian Stringhalt". I've never heard of it and very few people I've talked to have.

I've linked two articles below along with a video of what it looks like. Apparently, it hit the US several years ago and my area (Southeast US) at that time. My vet said they saw it then and now are seeing cases of it again. There is no treatment and it resolves on it's own, but it's not pretty and it's painful to watch.

Since I've never seen a dandelion or anything that looks like one on a toxic weed list, it's pretty shocking and upsetting to me and figured I'd better let as many people know as possible. Permission to share this with any of your horsey friends or other lists. If something good has to come out of this, maybe it's education. (oh, and this came on from the slightest little "something doesn't look right" to what you see in the video below in a matter of 3 days)



Social Circle, GA(Zone 8a)

I had NO idea! I have definitely read before though that immediately following rain that's after a dry spell that many pasture weeds become poisonous, I just never really gave it much of a thought. We came out of a good drought this year too...

Definitely good to know....poor Lady. Jeez that breaks my heart!

This message was edited Aug 7, 2009 7:26 PM

Huron, OH(Zone 5b)

Thanks for the links. It's good info to know.

Social Circle, GA(Zone 8a)


Looks just like dandelion.

Campobello, SC(Zone 7a)

thankfully it doesn't involve expensive treatment (when have I ever been able to say that before?) and will heal on it's own. Now just to kill everything out in my pasture. Too bad too, the weeds at least give the impression of green.

Social Circle, GA(Zone 8a)

Thanks for sharing. Those of us who keep our horses ourselves and try to manage our pastures can benefit from your experience. Even those who board can question pasture management.....with the know

I'm sorry that you are going through it, but at least you can share so that we all will be armed with the know

Moundridge, KS(Zone 6a)

Thanks for the info. We have our share of dandelions around here, although , thankfully, we have had a wet summer. I'd better walk the pasture tomorrow, well can't walk it, but I'll take the buggy out to see what's growing that we don't want. It's always good to be aware, and those are pretty distinctive symptoms.


Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

Is that Lady in the video?

Fuquay-Varina, NC(Zone 7a)

Yes, that is Lady

hard to watch, huh?

South Hamilton, MA

I hope that she recovered.

Campobello, SC(Zone 7a)

Willow, we've have a relatively wet summer too compared to the last few years. That's supposedly what causes them to turn toxic this year if I understand it correctly.

Yes CK, that's Lady.

Thanks Iris. I'm told she will, it just takes a long time. She's already moving a little bit better.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

So sorry for Lady and glad she is going to recover. I had never heard that dandelions were toxic. Live and learn, huh? Sorry you had to come by the knowledge in such a hard way. Thanks for passing it on.

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