Flatweed in Md

Asked January 12, 2016, 12:52 PM EST

Is flatweed common on the Eastern Shore? I understand it is toxic to horses.

Wicomico County Maryland

1 Response

Flatweed (false dandelion) can be found in the northeastern United States down to North Carolina, so it can be present. According to Equus though, common dandelion can also cause issues with horses:

Australian stringhalt (which also occurs in the United States) results from ingestion of a toxic plant. Flatweed, common dandelion and little mallow have all been implicated in this form of the disease, although these weeds are not consistently toxic. It is possible certain environmental conditions may increase toxicity because this form of the disease seems to occur more often in late summer or fall. Horses with Australian stringhalt are often affected in both rear legs. Spasms can also sometimes occur in the front legs and the muscles of the larynx. These horses usually recover when they stop ingesting the toxic plant, but it may take months. - See more at: http://equusmagazine.com/article/qa-stringhalt-26042#sthash.mXnS5dlg.dpuf