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919-870-6712
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"We are extremely pleased with the
excellent pet sitting service you
provided. Most important, of course, was
the (very obvious) loving care you gave
our beloved retired racers. And with all
the extras, it gave us complete peace of
mind to fully enjoy our vacation. Thank
you so much."
    Pat S.  Raleigh, NC

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Reining Cats and Dogs
Pet Sitting
Raleigh, NC
919-2
80-0186
"Exceeding Your Expectations!"
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Reining Cats and Dogs Pet Sitting, Dog Walking, and Horse Care.
Stupid Trees to have around horses
By Richard A. Mansmann, VMD, PhD
NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine
There are a few trees and bushes that have been proven fatal to horses. Certainly, experience should be
something that we all should benefit from in protecting the future health of our horses. Also, as our horses
become more suburbanized and move toward the city from the farm, these suburban environments believe in a
significant amount of landscaping and the protection of our trees. Also, when we consider any kind of toxic
situation, anything that is not normal within the horse’s diet, such as weeds, fruit, vegetables, etc. can, when
eaten at a significant level, cause, at minimum, GI problems, and potentially death. So, any horse that
develops some aberrant eating behavior, whether taught by us as the owner or they developed it on their own,
should be critically examined and the behavior should be changed.

There are three plants that should not be anywhere near a horse, whether in a pasture, on a fence line,
around a ring where horses gather, in show facilities, on breeding farms, etc. These three plants are Red
Maple (Acer rubrum), Wild Cherry (Prunus serotina), and Oleander (Nerium oleander). These are trees that all
grow in the southeast. Two of the trees grow significantly in the Southeast. Red Maple is selected as an
ornamental and used in landscaping, but also grows in the wild. Wild Cherry is not usually used in landscaping,
but does grow wild in the area. Oleander is more of a bush and is not as common as the other two, but is even
more fatal to the horse and also to children
Red Maple (Acer rubrum)
Red maple is a leaf that, when ingested in a certain amount causes significant breakdown of red blood cells
and is an extremely difficult, expensive treatment, which is most often unsuccessful. The usual situation
involves horses eating the leaves from branches that blow off of a red maple tree during a storm or, in the fall,
wilting leaves fall from a tree in the pasture or are blow into the pasture. Clinical signs include weakness,
depression, increased heart and respiratory rates, dark red urine, yellow colored mucus membranes, occurs
one to three days following ingestion of leaves or bark. Break down of red blood cells is a cause of death.
Several horses per year die from this problem in North Carolina.
Wild Cherry (Prunus serotina)
Wild cherry was involved in one of the most equine toxic and costly situations in American history. It was
involved with the Mare Reproduction Loss Syndrome in Lexington, Kentucky, where Eastern Tent Caterpillars
were ingesting the leaves, concentrating the cyanide poison, and, in an unknown way contributed to the
resorption and death of many equine fetuses in 2002. These trees grew up as volunteers along the fence line
and were occasionally present inside the pasture. Cyanide is the toxic principle and is a toxin that is required in
very small amounts in order to cause damage.
Wilted leaves may contain significant amounts of cyanide. The cyanide potential is greatest three to four days
after branches have been cut or blown down. Dry leaves are not hazardous to horses. Horses can show signs
within an hour of eating wilted leaves. Clinical signs include severe respiratory distress, even sudden death. It
behooves owners to walk pastures after storms to make sure red maples and/or wild cherry limbs have not
blown into the pasture.
Oleander (Nerium oleander)
Oleander is more commonly seen on the West Coast, but is part of the landscaping in the Southeast.
Oleander does not generally grow in North Carolina unless it is intentionally planted. With respect to
urbanization of horses, oleander has been used in landscaping around barns and between paddocks since
the leaves are evergreen and the flowers are quite spectacular when the bush is in bloom. A child using an
oleander stick to cook a hotdog over a fire can be killed by the small amount of toxin absorbed from the stick
by the hotdog. Ten leaves can kill a horse. Oleander is contains toxins that affect the cardiac function of
horses resulting in a fairly painful death within 2 to 3 days. There is no antidote for the toxin.
So, the name “Stupid trees to have around horses”
Making sure that you know these trees and know that they are not within any kind of oral contact with your
horse, whether at your farm or at a horse show. If you see them somewhere off your property where there are
other horses, please pass on this information to that particular owner.

A list of plants and weeds in North Carolina toxic to horses can be found at:
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/copubs/ag/livestock/horse/002/
"We are extremely pleased with the
excellent pet sitting service you
provided. Most important, of course, was
the (very obvious) loving care you gave
our beloved retired racers. And with all
the extras, it gave us complete peace of
mind to fully enjoy our vacation. Thank
you so much."
        Pat S.  Raleigh, NC

More feedback...
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Copyright ©, 2007-2011 Reining Cats and Dogs LLC  All Rights Reserved - Raleigh, NC 27613 - Phone: (919) 280-0186 - email: ddoll@rcatsanddogspetsitting.com
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