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Discussion on Horse eating pine needles

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joj
Member
Username: Jojo15

Post Number: 423
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Friday, Feb 6, 2004 - 7:42 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My horse was eating pine needles fallen from the trees today. Is there anything to worry about? They are from Australian pines which are rampant in florida. My neighbor mentioned they might have a laxative property. Anyone know anything about this? Good? bad? doesn't matter?

jojo
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 9920
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Saturday, Feb 7, 2004 - 9:31 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I know of no dangers.
DrO
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Beth Gordon
Member
Username: Bethyg2

Post Number: 16
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, Feb 9, 2004 - 11:42 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Jojo-
I am also in Florida. For whatever reason, one horse started eating a fallen banana leaf.I shooed him away, but the next day I noticed that he had not only eaten that leaf (and it was BIG) but had taken down another small tree (yes, the whole tree) and started the other horses eating the tree too. The entire side of my pasture is banana trees. They never so much as looked at them before. There is plenty of grass.I figure people cook w/ banana leaf so how poison can it be. -Beth Gordon
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Linda Davis
Member
Username: Ldodson

Post Number: 18
Registered: 4-2002
Posted on Monday, Feb 9, 2004 - 1:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Jojo,
The only problem I've ever read about is that it can cause a pregnant mare to abort. For any other horse there should be no problem. I keep my pregnant mares away from them just to be on the safe side. Linda
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joj
Member
Username: Jojo15

Post Number: 425
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Monday, Feb 9, 2004 - 10:38 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks Dr. O and all,

i just found some interesting info on them. Most of S. florida government is fighting over these trees since they aren't "native"... But who is down here... LOL They are wonderful for shade and character.

But, here is a quote from a website i found interesting.

""Reported to be astringent, diuretic, ecbolic, emmenagogue, laxative, and tonic, beefwood is a remedy for beri-beri, colic, cough, diarrhea, dysentery, headache, nerves, pimples, sores, sorethroat, stomachache, swellings, and toothache (Duke and Wain, 1981). In Ternate, the seeds are used for passing blood in diarrhea (Burkill, 1966). ""Asparagine and glutamine accounted for 92% of the total amino acid in the nodules. The bark contains 10% catchol tannin, the root 15%.""

http://newcrop.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/Casuarina_equisetifolia.html

What i found interesting was the reference to colic. I have just moved my mare. She is doing well, but that first day or two must have been highly stressful for her. and that is when i found her eating the pine needles. she hasn't gone for them today, though. I am putting this down as a she new what she needed when she needed it....

The latin term for the tree is casuarina equisetifolia for any of you Floridians who want to know more. Personally, i am torn between cutting them for better grassy areas or keeping the trees....

Linda, that is good to know if i ever want to breed. I wonder why that happens..

joj
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 9929
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Feb 10, 2004 - 7:18 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I know of no scientific or clinical reports that support the idea that pine needles cause abortion in mares. Neither can I find any reports of poisoning by Casuarina equisetifolia.
DrO
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Beth Gordon
Member
Username: Bethyg2

Post Number: 17
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, Feb 10, 2004 - 11:00 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Jojo,
Be glad you have the Australian Pines. We have some, but have many more Florida Cypress. They're ugly, a fire hazard, and drop lots of brown needles. Plus the state wants $$cash for taking them out. Makes arenas very expensive. :-( -B Gordon
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joj
Member
Username: Jojo15

Post Number: 426
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Tuesday, Feb 10, 2004 - 7:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Beth,

I know... I found the cutest house and property but i researched the Cypress trees. they are protected species and you can't cut them down. So i had to pass on the property since there were too many. Not to mention the spanish moss that goes hand in hand with the old cypress trees. They are full of chiggers. I couldn't deal... so i passed.
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Beth Gordon
Member
Username: Bethyg2

Post Number: 19
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, Feb 11, 2004 - 12:59 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

At least you found this out BEFORE buying the property...lol! I sort of just found this out.
- Beth
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