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BRIEF: Are hog pellets poisonous to horses?


QUESTION:
The livestock owner where I work, told us that hog pellets are toxic to horses. Why is this the case? And what are the clinical signs of livestock feed poisoning? I am also curious about other animal feeds such as cattle, llamas, rabbits, guinea pigs, deer, sheep, goats, ducks, geese, and chickens. Are there any resources that I could look at to find this information?

ANSWER:

Hog pellets contain a lot of copper and sometimes some ionophore coccidiostats, the latter being the greater threat. I am not sure why the particular hog pellets you mention might be poison to horses, but if you send an ingredient list, I will take a look. Cattle, sheep and bird feeds containing ionophores such as monensin (Rumensin) and lasalocid (Bovatek) are very toxic to horse, they die of heart failure very quickly. Be sure to read labels when you cross species with formula feeds.