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Discussion on Mesquite beans

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Lorrie Hutchens-Grover
Username: Lorrieg

Post Number: 57
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Thursday, Sep 8, 2005 - 5:55 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr O,

Are dried mesquite beans safe for horses?
My gelding is crazy about hunting them down as they fall off the trees here in south Texas.
If they are safe(which I think they are as I have seen no ill effects) would it be OK to bag some beans to use as occasional treats through the winter months?


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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Username: Dro

Post Number: 13679
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Friday, Sep 9, 2005 - 8:02 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I can find no cases of poisoning in horses though there is one impaction. However there are cases of ruminant poisoning so it may not be safe.

J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1985 Sep 1;187(5):501-2.
Primary gastric impaction in a pony.

Honnas CM, Schumacher J.

Primary gastric impaction developed in a pony as a result of the ingestion of persimmon seeds and mesquite beans. Clinical signs included mild abdominal pain, prolonged recumbency, anorexia, and lethargy. When medical therapy was unsuccessful, an exploratory laparotomy was performed. Previously, gastric impaction has been associated with signs of severe abdominal pain. Gastric impaction should be considered in cases of abdominal crisis of long duration and mild pain.

J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2002 Jun 15;220(12):1837-9, 1798.
Honey mesquite toxicosis in a goat.
Washburn KE, Breshears MA, Ritchey JW, Morgan SE, Streeter RN.
Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater 74078-2007, USA.

Honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) is distributed across a large portion of the southwestern United States. Ingestion of young leaves, pods, or beans can cause toxicosis in cattle and goats if they comprise a substantial portion of their diet. Goats, as browsers, are most likely to develolp mesquite toxicosis. Sheep appear to be more resistant to the plant's toxic effects. Consistent clinical signs include weight loss, ptyalism, mandibular tremors, tongue protrusion, and dysphagia. Diagnosis of mesquite toxicosis is largely made on the basis of history and clinical signs with exclusion of appropriate differentials. Laboratory findings are nonspecific but may reveal a mild anemia and hypoglycemia. Postmortem findings suggestive of mesquite toxicosis are limited to fine vacuolation of neurons in the trigeminal motor nucleus. Treatment consists of an alternative diet and supportive care. The disease is treatable in cattle and sheep but has a high case fatality rate in goats.
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