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Kim~Crayonboxminiatures

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Have any of you ever seen or heard of horse's skin/gums turning/tinting orange? I'm talking with the feed company (and also my vet), but my hunch is it's from the pellets, the three mares "tinted orange" are all on the same pellets and no one else is eating them, and no one else here is turning orange! It's been a gradual change, but I noticed most vividly last week when I took the photos (July 3).

I will have to upload the photos to my website and post them later tonight after I feed.

They are all getting 7.5-10 oz of Triple Crown 30% Supplement (split into two feedings). They are all three also on the same 3 acre pasture 24/7, get shredded beet pulp (amount varies per horse) and whole flax seed. They are within the recommended amount of feed for their weight (pellets).

This seems to be my year for the unusual cases!

Does anyone know of a weed that might cause this?? I don't think we have anything unusual out there, they were on the same pasture last year and didn't turn orange.

Thanks!
 

Minimor

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Are you absolutely sure that there are no poisonous weeds in your pasture? The coloring you are describing is a symptom of serious liver disease--can be caused by either nightshade or poison hemlock (I never remember which, or if both do it), alsike clover poisoning, blue green algae poisoning. I'm not sure what would be in your pelleted feed, but if it were me & I suspected the pellets at all I would stop using them immediately. I would also check hay & pasture carefully for any poisonous plants--just because there hasn't been any problem with your pasture in previous years doesn't mean it isn't a problem this year--different weather conditions can cause different weeds to spring up.

The orange discoloration is nothing to take lightly. ask kaykay--she experienced this same thing with her horses a couple years ago.
 

dreaminmini

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Well it is a colour from the crayon box!
Maybe they were going for something different.


Sorry, couldn't resist. Sorry I can't really help you, never heard of it before. Seriously, I hope everything is okay and you find out what is causing it and causes no ill effects.

I'm sorry, I must have been writing when the previous post was written. I didn't realize it could be that serious. :DOH! Hope it's nothing poisonous and they are okay.
 
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Kim~Crayonboxminiatures

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I have done a lot of research and liver problems turn the skin yellow, not orange according to all the vet books, etc. I have sent the photos to my vet as well, and they were not overly concerned at this point.

I will walk the pasture again, but only found thistles last week.

Well it is a colour from the crayon box! Maybe they were going for something different
LOL- yeah, I guess I was asking for it, leave it to my horses to take the name literally...
 

Minimor

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yes, I know that jaundice turns the mucous membranes yellow, not orange, but nevertheless the orange coloring CAN indicate some sort of poisoning that can/does ultimately affect the liver. Perhaps you don't remember the photos Kay posted back when her horses had this--it looked like they had rubbed their noses in some golden flower that stained their faces orange! I think her problem was nightshade, and the orange faces were an early warning sign that something was seriously wrong. Just saying that it's not to be taken lightly. Maybe in your case it is something harmless but in view of past cases--including Kays--I would be concerned until I knew 100% for sure.
 

Kim~Crayonboxminiatures

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Sure Minimor, I understand, like I said I'm taking proactive measures. I don't remember kaykay's story and I've been running searches on the forum for anything related. I will try again.

I walked the pasture again, I'm taking them off the pellets. There are no other signs of illness all three mares are bright, have healthy appetite, drinking, etc, etc. I contacted both my vet and the feed company.

I was just checking to see if there was anything I was missing.

Here are the photos:

Calita:





Spring, gums:



Frosty Chips:

 
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Miniv

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That is weird, Kim.......... I would start narrowing down the possibilities, as you are doing. Change the feed. And go through their pasture -- or perhaps move them.

Try doing the changes one at a time, so you know for sure which is the cause. And let us know!
 

Kim~Crayonboxminiatures

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Thanks Miniv,

I don't want to move them off the pasture unless I absolutely have to because my little "prone to choke" guy is out there to stay out of trouble and I don't have any other large pastures available. I'm switching the pellets first, because I can't find any weed in the pasture.

I did find that the pellets contain "Beta Carotene" so I'm waiting to hear more from the feed company, I'm wondering if the batch of pellets I bought has too much of it.
 

shawna

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Kim,

Carrots have Beta Carotene in them and I know that they can turn skin orange. so if there is a lot in the Grain that would make since. It dose look like that to me from the pictures. Hope all works out well.

Thanks Miniv,

I don't want to move them off the pasture unless I absolutely have to because my little "prone to choke" guy is out there to stay out of trouble and I don't have any other large pastures available. I'm switching the pellets first, because I can't find any weed in the pasture.

I did find that the pellets contain "Beta Carotene" so I'm waiting to hear more from the feed company, I'm wondering if the batch of pellets I bought has too much of it.
 

kaykay

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we had this happen to two horses years ago and thats exactly what they looked like. they were eating poison hemlock in the pasture. heres a couple pics (their skin turned yellow because it was messing up the liver but after a couple weeks of getting them off the pasture they were fine) The vet said we caught it just in time

I had eye pictures too but I cant find them. Ill keep looking. The county extension office came out and found the poison hemlock and you could see where they had nibbled it. They had 3 acres of nice grass and ate the dang weeds!!

Poison hemlock looks like wild carrots



okay here are the eye pictures

[attachmentid=192]

orangeeye2.jpg
 
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Charlotte

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This is very interesting. thank you all for posting. I hope the little mares are ok and back to normal color soon.

Charlotte
 

Kim~Crayonboxminiatures

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Thanks kaykay for posting the photos, it does look very similar. I walked the pasture and didn't find anything like poison hemlock, or any weed that was being eaten. All the weeds were high and no bite marks.

My hunch is it's the pellets also because they have stopped coming to the gate in the morning for their feed, unusual for them, they typically are either waiting for me or come running when I call. They completely ignore me now. I have stopped feeding the pellets so hope to see a change soon!
 

kaykay

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I hope you figure it out kim. Please dont wait too long though before you pull them off that pasture. My vet said if we had left mine even another week it would have been too late. We couldnt find the weeds until I had the county extension guy come out. And the nibble marks were tiny. My friends and neighbors at the time told me it was dandelions, the grain, beta carotene etc. But when the vet came he knew exactly what it was and pulled blood to be sure. The blood tests came back showing the liver was being affected etc.

Sending good thoughts
 

whitney

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The EASIEST test would be to take them off the TC-30 for a month and see if it clears up. If it does you have your answer.

Edited to add

Are other horses without symptoms on the SAME pasture?
 
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Mona

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Here are photos I just went out and took of what my horses look like every year during certain months of the summer. It may be some sort of poisoning due to all the butterscups in their pasture, but it is not lethal...or at least it has not been thus far, and has been going on for years and years, and they are on it 24/7. These ARE 3 different horses.







In these pics they look more pink, but most days they look more orange.
 
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Hosscrazy

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Thanks for posting the photos, Kay - they are extremely helpful.

Liz R.
 

bevann

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I had a similar experience a few years ago with a mare.We finally decide it was due to her eating wild cherry tree leaves which can be toxic at certain times.That color often indicates a problem with the liver.My suggestion would be to get some blood samples tested.Good luck and keep us posted.
 

Kim~Crayonboxminiatures

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Here is the answer from the feed company, and also I just remembered about a week and a half or two weeks ago I removed a bucket of loose minerals from their shed, I had it there for the foals but I think everyone was eating it!

A good reminder to make sure you are feeding appropriate amounts!

Dear Kim,

Robin of Triple Crown forwarded your messages and pictures to me.

It appears to me that your mini's are being over fed. According to your emails you are feeding between 1 1/2 and 2 cups of Triple Crown 30 per day. I am assuming pasture and/or hay quality and quantity are within normal ranges. Mini's require only .25 pounds of Triple Crown 30 per day which would correspond to approximately 1/2 cup total per day. By feeding 4 times this amount your horses are being over fortified which explains why they are now showing reluctance to eat the pellets - their bodies are telling them that they do not need any more of the minerals and vitamins that are in the pellets.

The coloration of the of the minis (based on the pictures) is not really out of the ordinary. The melanin is being activated as a result of the high mineral and vitamin intake. The color of the soaked feed after 48 hours is also normal, but is really totally independent from the color of the horses.

Solution: Give the minis three - days of no Triple Crown 30 in order to give their bodies are chance to reduce the mineral and vitamin overload. Then feed 1/2 cup Triple Crown 30 per day along with the remainder of the diet and you should be good to go.

I hope this helps. Please contact us with further questions and/or comments.

Best wishes,

Bill Vandergrift, PhD
 

ErikaS.

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Too much beta carotene makes skin turn orange. I ate a lot of carrots when I was little so maybe I wouldn't have to wear glasses. Didn't work. I turned orange.
 

HGFarm

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Oh dear, vitamin overload can be toxic as well and cause all kinds of problems with internal organs, etc... and actually cause death eventually.

I am glad you contacted the company! I would even take them off of it longer than three days- the 'oil based' vitamins like A, E and others do not flush out of the system as quickly and can certainly cause death if they have too much!

I hope it is as simple as this and you dont have other problems with plants or things they can get into!

Please let us know if you see any changes or results from reducing this feed, etc.... !!
 

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