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Plants Toxic to Horses - Red Maple

Plants Toxic to Horses and Ponies - Red Maple


Plants Toxic to Horses - Red Maple
2007 K. Blocksdorf
I love the red maples on our property for their brilliant fall color. But I am glad that these trees are situated too far away for curious ponies to get at them.

The bark of red maples is smooth and grayish. The twigs are reddish brown.

The fresh leaves are considered relatively safe, but wilted and fallen leaves can be toxic--but tasty, to horses. The toxins affect the red blood cells. Three pounds of ingested red maple leaves is considered lethal.

Leaves can remain toxic for several weeks after they've fallen. Don't dispose of red maple leaves in manure piles or compost heaps that might be in reach of your horses. Red maple leaves can cause problems if baled into hay.

Red maples grow throughout eastern United States and Canada.

Symptoms of red maple poisoning are:

  • dark brown urine
  • rapid pulse
  • increased respiration
  • coma
Resource: Indiana Plants Poisonous to Livestock and Pets, Cooperative Extension Service, Purdue University Rebecca J. Goetz, writer, extension assistant Thomas N. Jordan, extension weed scientist John W. McCain, extension weed scientist Nancy Y. Su, assistant

If you suspect poisoning from any plant or substance call your veterinarian immediately.

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