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Hey, a friend of mine's pony has recently digested a plant which we've been unable to identify so far and the pony appears to have suffered a bad reaction to said plant, if anyone could identify the said plant you'd be a big help, thanks in advance!



Can you tell us anything about the plant? colour of flowers, is it growing in grass. Have you a photo that shows the leaves?

Am I right in thinking that the leaves at the bottom of the picture do not belong to the plant but are part of some other plant?

The main image looks suspiciously like Oxford ragwort, Latin name Senecio squalidus. It is poisonous to horses and should always be pulled up if horses are to be kept nearby.

Thanks for your replies, she's just getting some more pics as i type. Don't think its Ragwort as that's a known no no around horses as you say, so she reckons she'd regonize it if that were the case. Will post another pic shortly. 

Hopefully these help! 




Thank you! 


could be meadow sweet, often found in ditches and damp places, Would that fit?


It does look similar, nut, but all the info I can see about meadowsweet suggests that it isn't toxic to horses.

Maybe this wasn't the culprit.

Perhaps, hopefully it'll sought itself out. Thanks for you time and effort regardless. Hopefully he'll be ok, will post some updates on his condition in the future. 


Good luck. I never knew that there were so many poisonous plants for horses to sink their teeth into.


Ragwort is about the worst, like a tall yellow dandelion with taller stem, and it branches out, flowers really bright yellow daisy shaped.   There has been a great deal of it around this year for some reason, highly toxic to the equine species - presumably donkeys, zebras etc too? 


I went and looked at my meadowsweet today and all parts look exactly like the photo. If this isn't poisonous I wonder if there was something else growing there as well which the pony ate at the same time


The nasty thing about ragwort is that it is more poisonous dead than living, so if it gets in hay it has very bad effects.  It should be pulled out of pastures and hay meadows  methodically every spring as soon as it appears, taken away and burned.

Meadowsweet can be beneficial for ruminants - I used to give it to my goats when their hooves swelled prior to kidding, as it eased the inflammation and kept them on their feet.

That being said, it's quite a tough and stringy plant at this time of year, I can imagine that it it could cause colic which as you probably know can be very serious for horses and ponies

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