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Fescue Toxicity, Lactation Failure and Domperidone Use in Mares
For some time now pregnant mares have had an increasing frequency of foaling problems when fed tall fescue hay or pasture their last trimester of pregnancy and has been labelled fescue toxicity. The problems seen have been abortion, prolonged gestation, agalactia (failure to produce milk), and weak newborn foals. The fungus Acremonimum coenophialum, which grows inside the tissues of fescue grass, was identified as the culprit and produces a toxin that effects the normal hormone levels of the mare. This fungus is called an "endophyte" because it lives in the grass tissues and therefore can not be seen. Most fescue is infected but to varying degrees. This article deals with prevention and treatment of this growing problem including pasture management, the use of endophyte free fescues, prevention and treatment of lactation failure.
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~Last Updated: July 10, 2015;
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