I just purchased some fescue hay. I've now heard some *** things about this
type of hay. I heard that it can cause lameness and can induce miscarriages. Is
there any truth to these allegations?
> I just purchased some fescue hay. I've now heard some *** things about this
> type of hay. I heard that it can cause lameness and can induce miscarriages. Is
> there any truth to these allegations?
Tamara in TN
> It has been well known that fescue grass containing the endophytic fungus, Acremonium
> >For non brood animals, it is perfectly OK. I am
> >unaware of any implication that it causes any kind of
> There have been studies suggesting a link between fescue pasture and
> laminitis. I am unsure if that risk extends to fescue hay, however.
Bill Kambic, Bright Star Farm, Kingston, TN
Mangalarga Marchador: Style, Stamina, Symmetry,
>> >For non brood animals, it is perfectly OK. I am
>> >unaware of any implication that it causes any kind of
>> There have been studies suggesting a link between fescue pasture and
>> laminitis. I am unsure if that risk extends to fescue hay, however.
>Do you have a site on this? This would be a Really Big
>Deal for me and for about 90% of the horses in TN if it
>were true. Is it possible that what is being
>referenced is a connection between laminitis and overly
>rich pastures? And obese horses?
"It has been observed by many horse owners that mature horses grazing
endophyte-infected tall fescue show signs of laminitis or sore feet
similar to what has been observed in cattle. Horses normally affected
have been exposed to continuous grazing of endophyte-infected fescue
and with little or no forced exercise. This condition is more
prevalent when the fescue plant is seeding. Since the fescue seed has
a more concentrated level of endophyte, horses are probably ingesting
a higher concentration of endophyte alkaloids. Little is known about
the actual physiological effects the endophyte may have on this
condition other than the ergot alkaloids have the ability to cause
vasoconstriction in the extremities of horses. The reduced *** flow
may predispose affected animals to chronic foot and leg disorders."
My friend at U of A also wrote in a handwritten addendum that the
fescue/founder problem "is more prevelant during hot summer months,
even without seeding, or in hay made in summer".
There it is, FWIW. We've been making some headway, despite the
drought, at overseeding our pastures in bermuda (which is more
drought/***le hardy than the fescue IMO, anyways-) and I'd estimate
the current percentage at 75% bermuda, 25% fescue in what was
previously all fescue pastures.
I used to have the summary of the Rorhbach study saved on my computer
but now I can't find it. Maybe someone with access to a search (like
Medline?, is it, but for vet stuff) can find it for us. Interestingly
I want to say Rorhbach is headquartered right there in TN but I'm not
sure I'm recalling that correctly.
"Aggregate risk study of exposure to endophyte-infected (Acremonium
coenophialum) tall fescue as a risk factor for laminitis in horses.
Rohrbach BW, Green EM, Oliver JW, Schneider JF
Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary
Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville 37901-1071.
Loline and ergot alkaloids found in endophyte-infected (Acremonium
coenophialum) tall fescue (EITF) cause vasoconstriction of equine
vessels in vitro. An aggregate risk study was used to evaluate the
association between horses exposed to EITF and development of laminitis.
Veterinary teaching hospitals participating in the Veterinary Medical
Data Base were grouped by whether equine accessions were likely to have
been at high, moderate, or low risk for exposure to EITF. From
1980-1990, there were 185,781 accessions, of which 5,536 had diagnosis
of laminitis. Proportion of equine accessions with laminitis reported by
veterinary teaching hospitals for high, moderate, and low risks, were
3.41, 3.04, and 2.00 cases/100 accessions, respectively (P < 0.0001).
Comparison of the proportion of accessions with laminitis in the high-
and moderate-risk groups with that in the low-risk group revealed
significant differences between risk groups over all months (P = 0.063)
and differences from month to month within risk groups (P = 0.0001). If
the difference among risk groups is attributed entirely to exposure to
EITF, the population-attributable risk is 7 cases/1,000 admissions, or
15% of all admissions for laminitis at veterinary teaching hospitals in
our data base. Preliminary data support an association between horses
exposed to EITF and increased risk of laminitis; however, studies at the
individual animal level are indicated to confirm this hypothesis.
PMID: 7695144, UI: 95209169 "
this? This would be a Really Big
1. Fescue HAY
2. Fescue Hay