My horses are slobbering from the fungus that can grow on clover in the...

Asked July 9, 2015, 4:49 PM EDT

My horses are slobbering from the fungus that can grow on clover in the pastures during the summer. Do you know of any treatment I can give my pastures to combat this fungus? I tried a baking soda/water/veg oil mixture last year and it did not help. Any advice you can give would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Cuyahoga County Ohio

3 Responses

Hello - Thank you for your inquiry. Slobbers is a common occurrence in horses especially in the heat and humidity of the summer with periods of rain which we have been experiencing. We see this commonly on clovers but as an excerpt from Kentucky EquiNews states, "although there is no treatment for slaframine overload other than removing infected plants from the diet, certain pasture management practices can minimize the occurrence of the condition: sow no more than 40% legumes in pastures; spot-check leaves of legume plants for telltale spots or rings during periods of high moisture; utilize a drylot for horses if affected pastures remain wet for an extended time and feed supplemental hay; and mow pasture grasses to maintain plant height at about three to four inches. If these recommendations cannot be worked into the pasture management scheme, horses should be offered free-choice salt and water during hot weather to counteract any dehydration that might occur with the ingestion of legumes contaminated with Rhizoctonia leguminicola."

I would suggest working through a vet as well.

Thanks for the info. We've battled this for years. We already mow our pastures and have tried to eliminate some of the clover but as you can imagine, it's a losing battle. I already keep the horses off the pastures and in our dry lot with hay overnight. My vet says it won't hurt them to slobber, but I was hoping there was a fungicide that exists that would be safe to use on the clover. Is anyone researching this?

Hello - Yes, unfortunately there is not a chemical that exists for the use in a pasture situation. Good luck to you and if you have additional questions feel free to call your local Extension Office or call me directly at the number below.