Clover toxic to horses

Asked January 19, 2016, 8:56 PM EST

Among the species of clover one is toxic to horses. What identifies it? Is the pictured clover toxic to horses? One of my two horses has had diahreah for years identified by her soiled hindquarters because her dropings are 90 percent normal. It seems to have gotten worse since my hayfield ield was fertilized with cow manure the last two years. I find clumps of this clover in my bales of hay. So in an attempt to problem solve I learned some clover to cause diahreah. Meanwhile I am pulling out the clover as best I can when feeding the bales. The other horse's seasonal allergies have gotten worse causing a crisis in her breathing in Sept-Oct.. Prednisolone saved her and I am backing her off of it gradually.The frozen winters are best for her breathing and she has no symtoms now.Both horses are in their mid twenties. They have a large area in/out and choose to be out even in blizzard conditions. They do have teeth issues especially the one with diahreah with a wavy mouth. She is under dental treatment by a vet.

Alcona County Michigan horses pastures and forages clover

1 Response

Hello,
The clover most associated with toxicity is Alsike, and it does look as though that may be Alsike, although it is a little tough to tell as it is in dry hay. The toxicities associated, however, are typically things like photosensitivity and liver issues.

All clover regardless of species, however, is highly susceptible to mold. During the growing season this can cause things like Slobbers. In hay, because Clover doesn't dry as well as other plants, there is often increased mold in the hay which could contribute to diarrhea and respiratory issues. It is good that your horses are outside most of the time. That will mitigate some of the respiratory issues for certain.