Symptoms of Mycotoxin Poisoning

Mycotoxins are naturally occurring toxins produced by certain moulds. Mycotoxins can be found in grass, hay and commercial feeds. Mycotoxins become more prevalent in periods of high rainfall. They also can be found more readily on certain grasses such as Paspalum, Bermuda Grass, Couch and Ryegrass because of their seed heads.

Mycotoxin poisoning in horses can show up through various symptoms. Horses are particularly susceptible to mycotoxin exposure due to their dietary habits and the potential contamination of their feed. Here are some indicators of mycotoxin poisoning in horses:   

Digestive issues:  Horses affected by mycotoxins may exhibit signs of gastrointestinal distress, including colic (abdominal pain), diarrhoea, reduced appetite, and weight loss.  

Neurological abnormalities:  Mycotoxins can have neurotoxic effects on horses, leading to symptoms such as ataxia (loss of coordination), muscle tremors, stumbling, weakness, and abnormal behaviour.  

Respiratory problems:  In Inhalation of mycotoxin-contaminated particles or ingestion of mouldy bedding can cause respiratory issues in horses, including coughing, nasal discharge, and difficulty breathing.    

Skin and coat problems: Horses may develop skin irritations, hives, hair loss, or a dull, unhealthy coat as a result of mycotoxin exposure.  

Lameness and hoof-related issues: Certain mycotoxins can affect the hooves, leading to lameness, hoof wall defects, hoof abscesses, or compromised hoof growth.  

Reproductive complications: Mycotoxin poisoning can impact the reproductive health of horses, resulting in fertility issues, irregular estrous cycles, early embryonic death, or stillbirths.  

Reduced performance: Horses exposed to mycotoxins may experience a decline in performance, lack of energy, reduced endurance, or decreased athletic ability.  

Organ damage: Some mycotoxins can target specific organs in horses, such as the liver and kidneys, leading to organ damage, abnormal blood profiles, and impaired function. 

Symptoms can vary widely but may include:

  • Itchy skin and/or hair loss
  • Skin challenges
  • Stiffness
  • String halt/staggers
  • Wasted topline
  • Sunburnt nose
  • Respiratory stressors
  • Odd sweating
  • Coarse, dull coat
  • Persistent greasy heel / rain scald
  • Unexplained spookiness and dangerous behaviour

Mycotoxin poisoning may also cause the following without any obvious signs:

  • Depleted minerals in the body
  • Decreased immune function
  • Negative impact on the kidneys, liver and reproductive system
  • Or worse
It's important to note that these indicators can vary depending on the specific mycotoxin involved, the concentration of the toxin, and the duration of exposure. If you suspect mycotoxin poisoning in a horse, it is crucial to consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis, treatment, and management of the condition. Additionally, preventive measures, such as careful feed management and regular inspection of feed for mould or mycotoxin contamination, can help mitigate the risk of mycotoxin exposure in horses.

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Toxin Binder

  • May bind to a large range of harmful mycotoxins (including polar and non polar mycotoxins)  
  • Contains prebiotic to support gut health 
  • Fast acting non medicated

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