Acorns and Oak Leaves

Oak LeavesDoes your horse treat acorns and oak leaves like a delicacy? Acorns and oak leaves contain tannin which in large quantities can be poisonous to your horse. Red or black oak varieties contain the most tannin; white oak varieties contain the least. The concentration of tannin in early spring leaves and green acorns is much higher than in mature leaves or ripe acorns.The most common problem we see in horses eating acorns is mild colic from indigestion. Horses with any predisposition to founder should not be allowed access to acorns as they are high in carbohydrates and can induce laminitis. Severe cases of acorn poisoning are extremely rare. The signs of acorn poisoning can be loss of appetite, excessive salivation, blood in the urine or manure, colic like pain, slow or irregular heart-rate, elevated temperature, pale mucous membranes, watery eyes and depressed attitude. In extreme cases liver and kidney failure ensues and other organs begin to hemorrhage. If you feel your horse is showing any of the above signs and has access to acorns remove them from the area and contact us.