الأربعاء 24 أبريل 2024

Slobbers in Horses

موقع أيام نيوز

What Is Slobbers?

Slobbers, or slaframine poisoning, is the excessive drooling that happens to a horse after ingesting Rhizoctonia leguminicola, the fungus that produces slaframine. This fungus is most commonly seen in red clover, white clover, alsike clover, and alfalfa.1 The slaframine activates the salivary glands, causing the horse to hyper-salivate. Although non-life-threatening, the horse's hypersalivation can last several hours to several days. Effects begin within hours of the horse ingesting the infected plant but can be easily resolved with the plant's removal or the horse's removal from the area where the plant grows.
 

 

 

Symptoms of Slobbers in Horses

While the symptoms of slobbers are generally mild, prolonged exposure to slaframine can cause your horse to feel discomfort or lead to complications. Symptoms will become apparent within hours or days of ingestion, so treat your horse swiftly to prevent further discomfort. Drooling is symptomatic of several serious diseases in horses, so take your horse to the vet for a definitive diagnosis.



Excessive Salivation

Excessive salivation is the clearest (and sometimes only) indicator that your horse has slobbers. This will probably look like thick drool hanging from your horse's mouth throughout the day. Excess saliva is hard to ignore, so if you notice it, eliminate the foliage around your horse that may contain slaframine. If the excessive salivation does not subside, take your horse to the vet.

Colic, Diarrhea, and Bloating

If your horse's slaframine poisoning is neglected, it may become more severe and lead to symptoms beyond drooling. These symptoms include colic, diarrhea, and bloating.

Choking

A horse can choke or suffocate on its excess saliva in some cases. Although rare, it is necessary to address your horse's slobbers before potentially life-threatening complications present.



Causes of Slobbers

Fortunately, the causes of slobbers are limited and straightforward. Recognizing the causes will help to prevent your horse from developing slobbers.

  • Ingestion of slaframine: The only way a horse can get slobbers is by eating a plant infected with the fungus, Rhizoctonia leguminicola, that creates slaframine. It also occurs in stored, dry hay. These plants commonly include red clover, white clover, alsike clover, and alfalfa.2
  • Weather conducive to growth: Plants infected with Rhizoctonia leguminicola thrive in the cool and damp climates of spring and fall. Be mindful of the vegetation around your horse during these months and climates.