Can Horses Eat Acorns?

Can you allow your horses to eat acorns? If you rear horses, this is a very important question. The short answer to this question is that horses can eat acorns. However, the long answer is that acorns are poisonous and have the potential of posing huge risks on the health of your horse. The truth of the matter is that different horses will react to acorns differently. This makes it difficult to figure out the effect of acorns on a particular horse. Consuming a few of these may not be a cause for alarm, but it’s important to take caution. What might be a few for one horse might not be the case for another. Get more information regarding acorns and horses below.

How Are Acorns Poisonous To Horses?

Acorns have toxic substances referred to as gallic and tannic acid. When these substances enter the internal system of a horse, they cause intestinal, liver, and kidney damage. Horses are particularly vulnerable when they graze around oak trees. During the autumn season, you should prevent your horses from grazing around oak trees.

Signs of Complications after Eating Acorns

Having known that acorns are poisonous to horses, you should take note of the clinical signs that manifest when your precious animals consume them. In the event that horses take large amounts of acorns, there is a likelihood of complications to arise in the kidney, stomach, and liver. Some of these signs include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Constipation
  • Dehydration

In cases where a horse has severe effects from consumption of acorns, it may develop bloody urine and a negative effect on the central nervous system. It’s imperative to take note of these signs so that you take action as soon as possible. While there is no particular diagnosis for acorn toxicity, the best way to diagnose such is being aware of your horse’s exposure to acorns. If you notice that your horse looking sick as a result of eating acorns, you should let your veterinary professional know as quickly as possible. It is through the above-mentioned clinical signs that a veterinary officer is able to diagnose toxicity from acorns.

How to Treat This Poisoning?

Acorn poisoning isn’t easy to treat. In most cases, supportive care is the best treatment for horses that eat acorns. Veterinary officers offer treatment depending on the degree of toxicity and the clinical signs that manifest. This type of treatment aims to reduce the likelihood or degree of damage to the organs affected. Horses affected can be put on intravenous fluid to ensure that the kidney functions well. Laxatives are also used to address any constipation issues. Depending on the degree of illness that a horse has, a veterinary officer gives advice on how to proceed with the treatment. Usually, monitoring and assessment of affected horses is necessary during the treatment process.

How to Prevent Your Horse from Eating Acorns

Now that you’ve known that acorns are poisonous to horses, it’s your responsibility to protect them from consuming them. The first thing you need to do is to ensure that your horses do not graze near oak trees, especially during the autumn season when acorns drop to the ground. Once horses graze under an oak tree, it’s highly likely that they will eat acorns. Additionally, be careful not to allow horses to eat oak leaves. They also contain the poisonous substances. As a precautionary measure, fence off areas where you have oak trees. This will ensure that these trees are out of bounds. Horses will be able to graze from other areas apart from where oak trees are present.

Horses are highly precious and valuable animals. That is why you should take good care of them by protecting them from anything that could be harmful to them. Specifically, protect them from acorns. They are highly toxic and have the potential of causing serious damage to vital internal organs of your horse. Keep off your horses from acorns to avoid any toxicity. It will be a costly affair if they fall sick as a result of such. In the event that you notice your horse showing signs of toxicity after exposure, make sure you contact a veterinary officer as soon as possible.