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Plants Toxic to Horses and Ponies - Deadly Nightshade

Plants Toxic to Horses and Ponies - Deadly Nightshade

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Plants Toxic to Horses - Deadly Nightshade
2007 K. Blocksdorf
Deadly nightshade likes sandy soil and thrives even in dry conditions. I've become very familiar with this plant's vining habits on my own property. It has a white star shaped flower and the fruit looks like a large black current. All parts of this plant are toxic to humans and pets.

The leaves are dark green and smooth textured somewhat similar to that of a tomato plant. (It is in the same family as tomato, potato and pepper plants which is why you don't want your neighbor pitching his garden scraps over your fence.) Nightshades can be difficult to eradicate.

Horses are unlikely to eat nightshade or any other toxic plant unless there is no other feed available or it is baled into the hay and eaten accidentally. Signs of nightshade poisoning may include:

  • colic like symptoms
  • loss of muscle control
  • disorientation
  • dilated pupils
  • death

Also known as Eastern Black Nightshade.

Resource: Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Poisoning of Horses by Plants, Penny Lawlis - Animal Care Inspector/OMAFRA.

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

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