i took my mare off pasture last week to let it grow to chekc it out. I searched the whole thing and found nothing that looks like fescue in the pasture but a few shots in the neighbors. She was on this pasture all last summer and became preg on it. I dont think i have enuff time to get a test done so im keeping her off it. The hay i am feeding is bluegrass mix weed free. (the guy grows seeds and sells us the stems) Our mare last year was on it with no problems and this mare is no problems yet. I dont know where i would even find better hay around here. We have Quackgrass and Crested wheatgrass little bit of alfalfa and some kind of barley for sure.
ive done reading and havent found the awnsers to these questions!!!
MY QUESTION-- What to do? she has to eat somthing so i am leaving her in the small correl with just a little grass where i didnt see any fescue. I have no place to put her where she can't reach out.
2nd Question-- how long after the baby can she go back out?
3rd question-- can i get rid of fescue?
4th Question-- Is it a good amount or just one little stem can cause all this trouble??!!??
Even a small possibility of fescue poisoning is nothing to mess with. Dead mare/dead baby, I've seen it time and time again. Why take a chance?
Not all fescue is infected with the endophyte but a vast majority of it is. Once again, why take a chance. Burning doesn't "kill" it. It comes back up thru the roots. The only way to successfully get rid of fescue is to chemical treat/kill the pastures, wait the appropriate amount of time (per the chemical you are using) and then plow and replant. The upshot is that you can do it to your pastures but if neighboring land has the infected fescue, it can (and most likely will) reseed on your pastures again at some point, even if you plant an entirely different grass type. Fescue is invasive and tough (that is why it is such a popular lawn grass).
Regarding a pregnant mare, have your vet do an exam to make sure nothing is abnormal at this point. We have fescue pastures (can't get away from it in South Carolina) and we take our mares off the pasture the last 3 months of the pregnancy (i.e., off in January if we have an April foal due). The guidelines are typically at least 2 months prior to the due date. There isn't anyway around it.... Except for a shot. Here is a reposting of something I have posted a number of times:
}These fescue mares can be helped. 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.
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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