Usually, grazing horses don’t touch plants that are toxic. Sometimes they do…
And sometimes, it ends up being bundled in their hay! According to this article, if a horse eats enough of the Singletary Pea, they will have paralysis similar to EPM as well as other neurological signs.
If this plant is as easily recognizable to you as it was to me… I thought you might like to know more so read the articles below.
Heads up for those of you in Texas, New Mexico to the East Coast and along the West Coast in California and Oregon.
Singletary Pea, Caley Pea
Lathyrus hirsutus was once planted as a cool-season crop that was plowed under in the spring as a green manure. It is fairly common roadside and field volunteer plant in river bottom soils. On several occasions we have seen horses develop stringhalt in both rear limbs while grazing this plant. Stringhalt is the name of a condition in which with each step the rear leg is lifted very high then the hoof snaps to the ground. Lathyrus sp. (sweet pea) are known to cause spinal cord and nerve damage in people that rely heavily on the peas for their nutrition as do poor young males in India.
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