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HELP!!! Mare got into Fescue Hay!

Equine-Reproduction.com Bulletin Board » General Mare Questions - Volume 2 » HELP!!! Mare got into Fescue Hay! « Previous Next »


Author Message
 

Michelle Laughlin
Neonate
Username: Mustangjumper

Post Number: 4
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 - 11:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My mare is at 305 days and got into some fescue hay we have at the farm for other horses. The hay was bailed last spring and she only ate about 2-3 flakes. Should I be concerned? What can I do to prevent any problems?
 

Tracy Smith, Tali due 6/08
Breeding Stock
Username: Tracys

Post Number: 963
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Thursday, March 13, 2008 - 01:16 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I do know that it's not actually fescue that is harmful but infected endophytes on the fescue that causes the problems. I bet you're fine but it wouldn't hurt to ask your vet :-)
 

Diana Gilger
Breeding Stock
Username: Kdgilger

Post Number: 173
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Thursday, March 13, 2008 - 06:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I just had the "fescue" talk with my vet since I bought different hay this year that has fescue in it. He said they have to eat ALOT of it on a regular basis to affect anything. I wouldn't worry.
 

Michelle Laughlin
Neonate
Username: Mustangjumper

Post Number: 5
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Thursday, March 13, 2008 - 10:22 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thank you!
 

Bobbi Govro
Neonate
Username: Hh_farms

Post Number: 5
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Thursday, March 13, 2008 - 11:31 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Michelle: I just wanted to add my thoughts for you regarding Fescue. We have had a severe hay shortage in the midwest this year. We had no alternative than to feed a Fescue/Brome mix hay. We have supplimented alfalfa flakes and put our mares on a good graining program w/ lots of vitamins/minerals. Although not ideal, my vet is aware of the issue. She states that fescue can make the embryonic sac thick and hard to tear, as well as, present some milk issues. Although we have not delivered yet and I can't attest to the sac issue, my mares have bagged up quite nice. Tracy is correct in that the endophytes being infected can produce an extreme toxicity (to cows as well as horses) and can make them extremely ill.

You should be fine and dandy. I wouldn't sweat the fescue issue you had.
 

Jenni Luttrell
Breeding Stock
Username: Bugrace2000

Post Number: 946
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Thursday, March 13, 2008 - 12:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You wont have any problems if thats all she got into.
 

Beth Valen
Nursing Foal
Username: Divaranch

Post Number: 17
Registered: 02-2008
Posted on Thursday, March 13, 2008 - 12:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I agree, if she just at a few flakes this once, you are fine. If you want to be SUPER vigilent, just make sure you are there for the foaling, but honestly I don't think on fescue meal will thicken the placenta. If you are worried about milk, treat her to Domperidone as a precaution.

I think you're fine.
 

Catherine Owen
Yearling
Username: Cateowen

Post Number: 71
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Thursday, March 13, 2008 - 03:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Clemson University (Clemson, SC) has been a leader in research on infected fescue (since almost all fescue in our region IS infected). They have developed a shot (Equidone) for mares that are either inadvertently left on fescue or fescue is the only forage available.

The direct phone number to the Clemson University Equine Center is (864) 646-3554
The website link is: http://www.clemson.edu/researchfarms/Equine%20Center.htm

From The Horse magazine (04/2006)
"If the mare must be on infected fescue, she can be treated with domperidone (trade name Equidone), a dopamine antagonist that fills the receptor sites where the toxin binds, blocking the receptor sites so the toxin can't exert its effects. Cross says, "The drug blocks the effects of the alkaloid at the cellular level, preventing the ergot alkaloids from interacting with D-2 dopamine and alpha-1 receptors throughout the peripheral tissues of the mare's body."

Domperidone can be given to mares in late gestation. The research and development of domperidone used rats and was done by Cross and his graduate students at Clemson University. In one field study, domperidone was given orally to 1,423 mares on infected fescue. The drug increased serum prolactin and progestogens; mares began to produce adequate milk when the drug was given 10 to 15 days prior to their due dates. Treated mares had live, healthy foals and normal gestation lengths, normal placentas, and foaled normally.

The drug has proven to be safe, with no adverse effects on the foals' central nervous systems. Unlike other dopamine antagonists, domperidone does not cross the blood-brain barrier, and it does not cause nervousness nor lethargy. Equidone is an oral gel produced by Equi-Tox Inc., and is only available through veterinarians by prescription. Dosage depends on severity of the problem.

"You can't treat every mare the same," comments Cross. "In some instances a pasture contains other grasses, while on some farms it's pure fescue. Dosage depends on the amount of fescue being eaten. The main thing is to get mares on the medication prior to foaling. Many mares are removed from fescue 15 to 30 days prior to expected foaling and started on the drug 15 days prior to foaling." Cross holds four U.S. and several international patents on the domperidone technology, and he says Equi-Tox Inc. has funded the expensive regulatory approval process to make the prescription drug available to veterinarians.



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