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BRIEF: Do you have any information on creeping indigo?


QUESTION:
I own a 25 + year old ap gelding, horse. He recently came down with creeping indigo toxicity. This is a common plant here in so Florida. However I have been unable to find any information about the plant. Many horses die each year in this area from eating creeping indigo. I was lucky as it was spotted early, and treatment worked. I do have a brake down on the treatment if you are interested. Do you have an information on this plant?

ANSWER:

I saw a lot of this in Africa, but there the plants did not seem to have any bad effect on animals. In other parts of the world, animals are affected because Indigofera species have an unusual amino acid, indospecine, that looks kind of like the important essential amino acid arginine, but does not function like arginine. Therefore it disrupts the body's metabolism wherever arginine is needed (NO production, NH4 disposal, tertiary protein structur, etc).