anyone heard of this

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bob r

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sunday i mowed our yard, and blew a little bit of burmuda grass clippings into a small pen we have with a yrlg gelding in it. he immediatly came over and started eating the fresh grass clippings. well the next day he was blowing diareea, (which was monday) we treated him for it, but tue. he was DEAD.

my wife says she saw an articule from okla state university saying fresh grass clippings are TOXIC. to horses. she says she told me but i don't remember it. anyone know anything more about this.

BOTTOM LINE, DONT' MOW FRESH CLIPPINGS WHERE YOUR HORSES CAN EAT IT.
 
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kaykay

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Bob

I am so sorry for your loss. Usually the problem with grass clippings is not that they are toxic but that horses kept on a dry lot will gobble them down too fast and choke. Also that a horse not used to grass who suddenly eats clippings can colic. I suspect your guy did colic. Again im so sorry!

Grass clippings that have sat and gone sour are toxic
 
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Ashley

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You never feed grass clippings to horses. I had to get after my mom for this a few times. She thankfully has finally learned before something bad happened.
 

Jill

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Bob, I am very sorry for your loss.

I have always heard the clippings are toxic or ferment and not to give them :no:
 

LittleRibbie

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Oh Bob Im so sorry for the loss of your little horse..how tragic. I heard many years ago that grass clippings were toxic but never really knew why. I just never let the horses have them. A couple of years ago when we got a haflinger hubby mowed and gave a huge pile of them to him ( I was not at home ) My poor hubby just thought he was being nice....horse was very ill by evening....vet came....lucky he ended up fine but very scary just the same. Thank you for sharing your story to remind us....Once again, Im very sorry

Heidi
 

bob r

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sunday i mowed our yard, and blew a little bit of burmuda grass clippings into a small pen we have with a yrlg gelding in it. he immediatly came over and started eating the fresh grass clippings. well the next day he was blowing diareea, (which was monday) we treated him for it, but tue. he was DEAD.

my wife says she saw an articule from okla state university saying fresh grass clippings are TOXIC. to horses. she says she told me but i don't remember it. anyone know anything more about this.

BOTTOM LINE, DONT' MOW FRESH CLIPPINGS WHERE YOUR HORSES CAN EAT IT.

these were just fresh cut, only a few minutes old and the horse had been on grass all summer with the exception of the last 2 days, so they were not fermented.
 

SilverRidgeMinis

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Bob,

We used to give our horses fresh grass clippings years ago before I realized the danger of doing it. We no longer practice this as the danger is too great. Luckly, we never had any problems with it. It seems very strange to me that it was just the grass clippings unless it was a huge amount of them or there was something else in the clippings besides just grass. Could there have been any oil or something from the mower? Could have some leaves or something else got in with the grass clippings that poisoned your horse? Whatever it was, try to not beat yourself even though I know it just horrible to loose your horse with something that just seem like it would not hurt them. It could happend to me years ago before people on this very forum warned about what could happen.

I am very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing with us as a warning to all of us to not let the horses have the clippings.

So so sorry,

Freida
 

Mona

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I am so very sorry for your loss. I always blow grass clippings along the edge of the horse pens and pastures as they border my lawns. I would not deliberately dump a pile of clippings, because it can cause choke and/or colic.(blockage) But I have always had the horses come along to the fenceline and nibble on the clippings that are blown in. They are not in a pile, but spread out. They cannot grab mouthfuls, but can pick the blades off the ground. I have not had problems with this. I thought maybe this summer my Dawn may have had a reaction to it, but I think it was due to the heat now, instead.

Anyway, I seriously doubt that just eating some fresh spread out grass clippings would have caused the death in your horse. (But then mine are on grass 24/7 so are used to it.) Maybe there was something more to it, and it was just coincidental. Did you have an necropsy done? That might be a good idea. Again, I am so sorry, and please don;t beat yourself up over it, as it may have been a totally unrelated cause.
 

Cedar Ridge Farm

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Bob,

Thanks for sharing. Sorry about your loss~

Peggy

Are Grass Clippings Toxic to Horses?

by: Sarah Ralston, VMD, PhD, Dipl. ACVN

May 01 2004 Article # 5145

A friend swears that I put my horses at serious risk of "grass tetanus" by mowing my pasture with a rotary finish mower. He says that all of the short pieces produced by small, high-speed equipment expose so much of the grass juices that horses can get very sick. Is this true? Peter

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It's usually not recommended that horses be fed grass clippings, which are basically the type produced by a rotary mower. The small particle size enhances the chance of rapid fermentation in the horse's digestive system, which could potentially lead to colic or laminitis if he rapidly eats large amounts, especially if he is not used to being out on pasture. Also, if the clippings are left in large clumps, as so often happens when the grass is long when cut, and if heat/humidity conditions are just right, the clippings could ferment and mold, which is also potentially detrimental if the horse eats them.

However, the main concern with grass clippings is that they might also contain pieces of common ornamental plants that are highly toxic, such as oleander or Japanese yew. Plus, they are usually bagged in plastic before being dumped in a large pile, a situation that encourages the mold and rapid consumption that are major concerns. You're merely cutting the grass they are accustomed to being on and leaving it "in situ" (in the original place). If you keep your pasture mowed regularly so the clippings are dispersed and not accumulating in large clumps, I don't think there should be tremendous concern as long as your horses are used to being on the pasture you are mowing and aren't prone to laminitis.

I found this on thehorse.com website. Maybe this will help.
 

Reble

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So sorry Bob.

Info, I found on grass clippings

If you were bagging the clippings and then offering them to your horses, THAT would be dangerous, because the clippings would be clumped together in damp wads, and a greedy horse could easily take a large mouthful and find itself with a tight-packed wad of hay stuck in its esophagus. Also, mold/mildew/fermentation can all begin to take place very quickly when just-cut, still-damp grass is packed tightly into a bag. Don't ever pack up your lawn clippings to take out to the barn as a "treat" for the horses - and don't let anyone else bring clippings to your barn as a "treat" for your horses. The risks are far too great.

Was the clippings bagged? :no: Again so sorry,

This year our clippings would be more weeds than grass with this dry season...
 
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bob r

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i can see where if there was a large amount of clippings it could cause a problem, especielly if the horse had not been on grass, but this was a very minute amount of clippings, the horse had been on grass all summer with the exception of the last 2 days, and i don't think there was any foreign grasses or weeds among it., but there could have been you never know for sure. i have done the same thing many times before with our

breeding stallion rocking m "3t" in the same pen and never a problem, but never again!!!

thanks for all the info you guys have provided about this.
 

Dona

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I'm so sorry you lost your friend.
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I have always known that it's not a good idea to feed grass clippings to horses. Once, years ago, our neighbors were mowing their 5 acres of lawn & bagging. I happened to notice them dumping the grass clippings over our fence for the Saddlebred horse (we had then). I rushed over there & explained to them that they were not giving him a "treat" (as they thought)...but could actually kill him with those clippings. They thanked me & said they would never do that again.

On the other hand........we have always mowed our pasture along with our lawn. It is covered with grass clippings afterwards (but not in clumps) I'm sure the minis eat the clippings along with the grass they graze, and it has never hurt them. Probably because the clippings are just lying there & dry out pretty quickly. So, i doubt if that was the sole reason for your horse dying so quickly. Must have been something else involved.
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Marty

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Bob I am so very sorry to hear this.

When we mow, we close of the field for a while until the wind blows the clippings off.

I just don't think that what you described killed your horse. I could see if you fed a great amount of clippings to him but you didn't. You only had a little bit blow in his area and he did not gorge himself, and I cannot see that would be hardly enough to cause his death. However, is it possible that there was a poison plant involved? I would look for another reason Bob. Again, my condolences for your loss.
 

targetsmom

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I am so sorry for your tragic loss.

I had heard maybe 45 years ago that grass clippings could be deadly to horses. We rake up the bulk of them when we mow the pasture and toss them over the fence. It does seem odd, because obviously the grass the horses eat themselves is fine, as is the hay once it has been dried. But just don't feed the clippings, especially if they have sat for any length of time when they can ferment (that was what I was told anyway).
 

Katiean

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Grass clippings can cause colic and impactions. I learned that one the hard way. Grass clippings put into a plastic bag and given the next day can be toxic because of the rotting of the clippings. Did you have any chemicals that could be toxic on your grass before you mowed? When I take a horse over to my brothers house I don't let them even take a bite of his grass because he puts weed and feed on it. Our grass doesn't have any chemicals on it (not even fertilizer). If it did I would not allow the horses near it. Also, since we have such a small patch of grass we don't mow. We let the horses mow it for us.
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Charlene

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i'm so sorry, what a terrible loss for you. i, too, have had problems with people throwing grass clippings over the fence. i had to resort to a big ugly sign on the fence indicating NO grass of ANY kind be fed.

my first thought, like katiean, was the possibility of chemicals. again, sorry for your loss.
 

JennyB

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Bob hello,


 


I am so very sorry that your horse died. Please check around for any poisonous plants and bushes around. There are sooo many which can cause serious illness and death. My friend had 2 of her minis die when her heighbor threw over a few grass clippings with Boxwood in them. Boxwood is used for hedges a lot and it only takes a tiny hand-full to kill a miniature horse!


 


Again I am sorry for your loss!



:no:


 


Blessings,



Jenny



[/sixe]
 

Loess Hills

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I am so sorry about the loss of your horse. Such a tragic accident!

My understanding about the grass clippings was that because they were so fine that they cause impaction in a horse. But I also found that there are other reasons: here's information from an article

"One of the tenets of feeding management is consistency - both in feed type and times of feeding. The horse's digestive system adapts to a certain diet and does amazingly well on whatever limited menu he is offered daily, be it primarily pasture and a vitamin/mineral supplement or a full-fledged ration intended for an intensely worked athlete. Any abrupt change in the diet can upset the delicacy of the digestive tract, throwing the entire system into chaos and possibly causing colic or founder.

"Feeding lawn clippings will dramatically upset the balance of microbes in the hindgut, potentially leading to colic or laminitis," said Larry Lawrence, Ph.D., a nutritionist with Kentucky Equine Research (KER). "The amount of highly fermentable carbohydrates in regularly clipped lawns is dangerously high. Excessive intake results in a high rate of fermentation in the hindgut. Accelerated hindgut fermentation can produce increased amounts of volatile fatty acids, which, as their name implies, are quite acidic," continued Lawrence.

"In addition to volatile fatty acids, a surplus of lactic acid will be produced. Lactic acid is not utilized or absorbed well in the hindgut. This increased concentration of acids brings about a condition called acidosis that lowers the pH of the hindgut. The acidic environment created by fermentation of grass clippings in the hindgut causes microbes to die, releasing into the bloodstream endotoxins that can cause laminitis," said Lawrence.

Problems Too Risky to Chance

Another aspect often overlooked by well-meaning horse owners is how lawn clippings will affect individual horses with certain quirks or conditions. When a horse grazes, he must go through the motions of selecting, ripping, and thoroughly chewing grass. When a pile of lawn clippings is placed in front of him, the horse can consume the cut grass much more quickly than if he were grazing naturally.

If your horse has a tendency to bolt his feed (eat it very quickly), he may do the same with lawn clippings. When insufficiently chewed and gulped too quickly, a bolus of clippings can become lodged in his throat, and a condition called 'choke' may ensue. Choke is serious and usually requires the intervention of a veterinarian for resolution.

Lawn clippings might be thoroughly unsuitable for a horse that suffers from a pulmonary disease such as heaves. Dry clippings can be dusty, triggering a reaction that leads to respiratory distress. Reactions may be severe enough to warrant veterinary attention or a break from regular work.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, damp clippings could provide the perfect environment for mould and bacterial growth. Consumption of mouldy grass could cause colic or diarrhoea.

Lawn Grasses vs Pasture Grasses

A final factor worth consideration is chemical exposure. As horse owners, we implicitly trust grain farmers, hay growers, and pasture specialists to make informed choices about the growing conditions for their products, especially when it comes to fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals that might be necessary to ensure bountiful crops.

Manufacturers of lawn-care products are probably not as concerned with the effects of such chemicals on horses. Fertilizers and weed-control products intended for lawns might not prove detrimental in small quantities (it's not unusual to see owners hand-grazing their horse in their front yard), but to overload the system with large amounts might indeed be harmful.

The potential problems associated with feeding lawn clippings far outweigh the benefits. Certainly there's nothing wrong with offering your four-legged friend a treat, but it's safest to stick to the usual gustatory delights such as carrots and apples. Without knowing for sure how a horse will react to lawn clippings, it's best to avoid feeding them altogether."
 

Magic

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Bob, I'm so very sorry for the loss of your horse.
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After reading everyone's responses, I think that it could have been one (or more) of several different things that caused the illness and death of your colt. There are many poisonous ornamental plants that are commonly grown, could one of those have been in your yard and mown over? As others mentioned, yew, oleander, and red maple are just a few that could poison a horse. Also, as has been mentioned, chemicals that have been applied to the lawn can be poisonous. And, as Loess Hills wrote, simply the highly fermentable carbohydrates in clippings can cause endotoxins, and those can actually kill, not just cause laminitis.

I had a horse that died of endotoxosis that I strongly suspect was being fed by my former neighbor, though I asked repeatedly that he NOT feed my horses anything. His response was "I had horses for years and fed them this (clippings, pears, etc) and they were always fine". He wouldn't listen to me when I told him that the minis were different (though I didn't want my big horses fed any of that stuff either). I never caught him feeding my horses again after my poor stallion died though.

Again, my condolences, and please don't blame yourself; you don't know for a fact that it even WAS the clippings, do you? It seems likely, but it could have been something else that killed him, and you won't know for sure unless you have an autopsy done (sorry, I forget the phrase for one done on an animal). They aren't always conclusive though-- had one done on my boy and they could tell me what condition he died of, but not conclusively why he came down with that condition.
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