Did you know?
Ragwort is poisonous to horses. Ragwort damages the liver when eaten, and can lead to liver failure. There are often NO signs of any problem until it is too late!
Your horse will get just as ill from eating a small amount of Ragwort over a long period as it would from eating a large amount in one go.
Younger plants can taste less bitter than mature ones, so it is possible that horses may consume Ragwort without realising it.
One of the key things to remember is that there is often no sign of any problem until the condition has progressed so far that nothing can be done to treat it. In most cases the only reasonable course of action once the signs are visible is to have the horse put to sleep.
Liver failure is a horrible way for a horse to die. Firstly they become lethargic or behave abnormally. They can also lose significant amounts of weight, even though they may be eating well.
Eventually they may go blind, have to fight for breath, start to wander or stagger, or stand pushing their head against the wall. The symptoms and subsequent death can come about so quickly, that owners have sometimes found their horse dead without warning.
Let’s help clear it up!