A stinging nettle warning
Lori Hellenga Stevensville, Michigan
I treasure the diverse stories and articles in EQUUS, and “Test Your Knowledge of Poisonous Plants” (EQUUS 477) was especially helpful. I was relieved to know that star thistle isn’t toxic unless it’s consumed at 50 to 200 percent of the horse’s weight within a 30- to 90-day period. I’ll keep pulling it, though!
With regards to stinging nettle, we need to be aware that not only can a painful skin rash result from brushing against the leaves and stems, but some horses may have an anaphylactic reaction to the most minimal contact. Last fall a horse belonging to a good friend of mine died that way. My friend has been educating people about the risk, and I’d like to help turn her tragedy into a prevention for others. Kay Lieberknecht Ukiah, California