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Silver Maple poisonous to horses?

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  • Silver Maple poisonous to horses?

    Simple question. Is Silver Maple poisonous to horses? I know Red Maple is, but Google search isn't coming up with any firm Yes or No answers regarding Silver Maple.

    TIA.
    <3 Vinnie <3
    1992-2010
    Jackie's Punt ("Bailey") My Finger Lakes Finest Thoroughbred

  • #2
    That is a good question and one for which I searched as well. The best I could determine is that it is the chemical that causes the colour change in the red maple leaf that is toxic to horses. I erred on the side of no to silver maple.

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    • #3
      I recently attended a seminar at which a vet spoke about toxic plants native to this area. Silver Maples were NOT mentioned, even though they are plentiful around here. And, over the many years that I've had horses, I've never heard anything about Silver Maples being a problem for horses.

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      • #4
        I think that that is a qualified yes

        As in, yes they can be, but are not nearly as toxic as the red maples, since they have lower levels of toxins in their leaves.

        It will all depend on how much the horse eats!

        I have maples in the pastures for some horses, they don't touch the trees and so far all has been well.

        But then they have plenty of grass to graze and hay when ther is no grass.

        Maples outside the pasture are not a problem.
        MW
        Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
        Sign up for the Equine nutrition enewsletter on www.foxdenequine.com
        New edition of book is out:
        Horse Nutrition Handbook.

        www.knabstruppers4usa.com

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Melyni View Post
          As in, yes they can be, but are not nearly as toxic as the red maples, since they have lower levels of toxins in their leaves.

          It will all depend on how much the horse eats!

          I have maples in the pastures for some horses, they don't touch the trees and so far all has been well.

          But then they have plenty of grass to graze and hay when ther is no grass.

          Maples outside the pasture are not a problem.
          MW
          What I understand is that maple leaves are not toxic until they begin to wilt and the horse consumes them. That is why after a bad storm when limbs/trees are down one sees horses in kidney failure from eating the wilted leaves. To my knowledge (and I could be wrong) maple trees with "fresh" leaves are not an issue, which stands to reason as I know many places with them in the fields. However, if it were me, I would remove all maples from pastures as the possibility of the limbs/trees falling and leaves wilting is a terrible risk. i also understand it only takes a bite or two of the wilted leaves to cause irreversible and fatal damage
          www.shawneeacres.net

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          • #6
            Well now, few things are toxic until they are ingested!

            Originally posted by shawneeAcres View Post
            What I understand is that maple leaves are not toxic until they begin to wilt and the horse consumes them. That is why after a bad storm when limbs/trees are down one sees horses in kidney failure from eating the wilted leaves. To my knowledge (and I could be wrong) maple trees with "fresh" leaves are not an issue, which stands to reason as I know many places with them in the fields. However, if it were me, I would remove all maples from pastures as the possibility of the limbs/trees falling and leaves wilting is a terrible risk. i also understand it only takes a bite or two of the wilted leaves to cause irreversible and fatal damage
            with the exception of black walnut shavings and things dissolved in DMSO!
            Toxins have to be in the horse to be able to be toxic!

            The leaves get tastier when they wilt which is why horses eat them in the first place. And they can eat new fresh leaves quite a bit before they show symptoms of toxicity, I would not panic and cut down all my maple trees just because a limb might fall off! They do enjoy the shade in hot weather.

            But I certainly would not plant any red maples in the paddocks, though we have plenty lining the drive way.

            Reason and sense in all things.
            MW
            Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
            Sign up for the Equine nutrition enewsletter on www.foxdenequine.com
            New edition of book is out:
            Horse Nutrition Handbook.

            www.knabstruppers4usa.com

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            • #7
              Even though this thread is very old, I wanted to renew it because spring is here and this often turns people's attention to landscaping their farm/yards. The answer to the original poster's question is "YES, Silver Maples are poisonous to horses".

              RED MAPLE [acer rubrum - aka Scarlet maple, soft maple, Drummond red maple, Carolina red maple, swamp maple, trident red maple, water maple], SILVER MAPLE (acer saccharinum - aka Soft maple, creek maple, river maple, white maple, water maple) and SUGAR MAPLE (Acer saccharum - aka rock maple, hard maple) all readily hybridize with each other and ALL of them produce gallic acid which causes severe and immediate hemolytic syndrome in horses.

              Plain English for hemolytic is "the red blood cells explode en masse". The horses literally die of oxygen starvation and carbon dioxide toxicity and treatment is extremely expensive requiring extensive whole blood transfusions and is oftentimes not successful anyway. All mammals use red blood cells to transport oxygen around the body and carry carbon dioxide to the lungs to be exhaled. You lose your red blood cells you literally suffocate.

              The brown urine seen coming from horses with gallic acid toxicity is the body's desperate attempt to clean the system of all these dead and damaged red blood cell remnants floating around clogging things up. The brown is literally all the heme and a sure fire big-red-hairy flag and 5-alarm bells that your horse is gravely ill and needs In-Hospital treatment NOW, and that you are going to be looking at a massive vet bill likely into the thousands of dollars.

              Other trees to avoid are cherries which are favorite hosts of tent caterpillars and also toxic to horses. Cherries tend to produce cyanide, especially the wild cherry. Tent caterpillars tend to be unaffected by the cyanide and can concentrate the toxin in their bodies. Caterpillars accidently ingested by horses leads to en masse abortions in pregnant mares and in severe ingestion cases results a long, slow painful death over 2 to 3 days. There is treatment for cyanide poisoning, but by the time it is figured out what is wrong it is often too late.

              FWIW - ALL species of tent caterpillar are an especially significant problem to pregnant mares and these caterpillars are found in every single state in the USA including Alaska and every single province in Canada, including the far north. Tent caterpillar hairs have a hook which imbeds itself in the GI tract. The hairs tend to carry bacteria and it's the bacteria which can also cause abortions. Severe bacterial infections can also kill the mare, herself. Tents feeding on cherry leaves, but also other soft fruits like apricots which also produce cyanide (and also encapsulated within the pits) have the additional gift of cyanide toxicity first affecting the foal fetus and in high enough amounts the adult horse.

              And the other shrub that everyone including horses should stay away from are oleander. Oleander is so toxic, that if a child were to take a stick, pop a hotdog on it and roast on the fire, the hotdog would become deadly to the child. It is that deadly. There is no antidote for oleander poisoning. It's a pretty plant, but absolutely deadly to just about every creature on the planet.

              http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants/maple.html
              Last edited by rodawn; Mar. 31, 2014, 04:05 PM.
              Practice! Patience! Persistence!
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