What is Bryony Plant Poisoning?
There are two varieties of bryony plants; white bryony and black bryony. Both varieties are very toxic and cause severe intestinal complications. Intense diarrhea, urinary complications, breathing issues, and lethargy are just a few of the indications you may see, alerting you that your horse is ill.
Because this plant thrives well in many areas, exposure can easily occur if your horse decides to sample the bryony plant. The entire plant is toxic to horses, but the berries and the roots are the most poisonous.
Ingestion of the plant can lead to serious health complications for your horse; if you suspect your equine companion may have consumed the bryony plant, do not delay in contacting the equine veterinarian.
Bryony is a plant that can be found climbing up buildings, fences, barns, trellises, stables, homes and trees. It thrives in temperate climates and is found in abundance in the Northwest states of the United States.
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Symptoms of Bryony Plant Poisoning in Horses
The bryony plant, when ingested, will act as an intense laxative. If you notice severe diarrhea, changes in your horse’s behavior, or any of these symptoms, call your veterinarian right away for an appointment and immediate treatment.
- Severe diarrhea
- Soft stool
- Elevated temperature
- Profuse sweating
- Excessive urination
- Trouble urinating
- Difficulty breathing
- Muscle tremors or spasms
- Refusing to eat or drink
Causes of Bryony Plant Poisoning in Horses
Coming into contact with the bryony plant will not cause illness unless it is ingested. The bryony plant is very poisonous to horses. By ingesting any part of the plant, your horse can experience sickness. Ingesting the berries or the roots of the bryony plant can cause extreme sickness and if not given the proper treatment, can be fatal to your horse.
Diagnosis of Bryony Plant Poisoning in Horses
It can be difficult for your veterinarian to determine the cause of the poisoning since there are numerous toxins that could cause similar symptoms. Be sure to convey to your veterinarian what you have seen your horse eat and if you are unsure of the identification, show your veterinarian the plant.
A thorough physical examination will need to be conducted on your horse; a fecal analysis will be done, as well as blood work and a urinalysis to rule out other illnesses or possible parasites. Once it has been determined that your horse has ingested a toxin, the treatment plan will begin.
Treatment of Bryony Plant Poisoning in Horses
The treatment plan for bryony plant poisoning is the same for most poisons. Symptomatic treatments are usually the norm for poisonings when the cause cannot be determined.
Fluid therapy will be recommended if your horse is experiencing severe diarrhea to minimize the possibility of dehydration. Charcoal therapy can also be used to help neutralize the toxin within the body. It will also help expel the toxin from the body.
Systemic antibiotics may be given to prevent your horse from getting a secondary bacterial infection while the immune system is compromised from the toxin. Other supportive care may be given to ensure that your horse maintains appropriate body temperature, gets the necessary nutrients and in general is more comfortable.
Follow the treatment plan laid out by your veterinarian exactly to ensure that your horse recovers fully from bryony plant poisoning. A return to normal habits, eating and drinking regimen, and regular exercise can be achieved with timely therapy.
Recovery of Bryony Plant Poisoning in Horses
Your veterinarian will want to make a follow up visit to ensure that there are no long-term effects from the toxin, additional testing may be required to ensure that a full recovery has been made.
As with any animal, be sure to remove any toxic plants from their environment. Be sure to remove any poisonous or potentially poisonous plant by its roots in order to prevent regrowth. If you are not sure if a plant is poisonous, do a little research on that plant or err on the side of caution and simply remove it. Prevention is the best treatment.