Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Ate Moldy Hay or Feed, Witnessed

Code Red - Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours

Code Green - Contact Your Vet to Obtain Useful Advice & Resources

Code Red - Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours

  • To let the vet know of the development, and discuss a course going forward.

Code Green - Contact Your Vet to Obtain Useful Advice & Resources

  • To discuss your equine's general health and management.
  • If the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE) suggest the horse is otherwise normal.

You saw your horse consume hay that looked moldy. What should you do? Moldy hay can cause digestive upset that can lead to abdominal pain (colic). In rare cases, hay containing toxic molds can cause serious illness.

In most cases, the consumption of small amounts of moldy hay do not cause much problem in horses, and you only need to monitor them for signs of abdominal pain (colic), depression, diarrhea or loss of appetite over a 24 hour period. Assess your horse’s general health using the Whole Horse Exam (WHE) paying particular attention to attitude and appetite.

However, if your horse consumed a large quantity of moldy hay, or you think the hay contained large amounts of mold, it may be better to be proactive. Contact your vet right away to discuss the problem.

If your vet is able to examine your horse promptly (within an hour of eating the moldy hay), they may try to remove some of the hay from your horse’s stomach with a nasogastric tube. They may also give your horse laxatives such as mineral oil or other medications to reduce the absorption of toxins.

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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