Many plants that grow in Australia are potentially poisonous to horses. Poisonous plants can cause considerable economic and welfare problems for horse owners. Under most circumstances, horses will avoid consuming toxic amounts of poisonous plants. However some poisonous plants are attractive to horses and some need only be consumed in very small amounts to cause poisoning. Horses may choose to eat poisonous plants when there is little alternative feed. Seasonal conditions can influence the toxicity levels of certain plants making them more deadly at particular times of the year.
An awareness of toxic plants growing in Australian and an understanding of the factors that influence the risk of poisoning will help horse owners keep their horses safe. Pasture management and landscaping decisions should be made taking into consideration plants that are potentially poisonous to horses.
The book is a field guide for horse owners to help them prevent plants poisoning in their horses. It clearly outlines the factors that influence the risk of plant poisoning and the ways to reduce risk. The types of toxins that can be found in plants are discussed, along with the signs of poisoning that may be seen in horses that have ingested toxic plant material. A description of each plant is provided, including structure, growth habit and identifying features. Furthermore the book has over 200 colour photos of poisonous plants. Management notes suggesting ways of dealing with poisonous plants on properties. A comprehensive list of ornamental plants that are known to be toxic to horses is included. The reference list is a valuable resource for further reading and includes the journal articles, industry papers, books, CD ROMs and Internet resources that were used to create this publication.