The menace of monensin in horses

By Connie Orcutt • Published: March 2nd, 2015
Category: Animal Airwaves

Contrary to that old saying, what’s good for the goose isn’t always good for the gander. As a horse owner, keeping that in mind can save your steed’s life.

Monensin is an antibiotic, of sorts, that’s added to feed for cattle and poultry. But in horses, monensin in amounts as low as 3 one-hundredths of an ounce can be deadly.

Signs of monensin toxicity include going off feed, acting distressed or colicky, incoordination and inability to stand. If you see any of these signs or if you know your horse got into chicken or cattle feed, contact your veterinarian immediately.

There is no antidote to monensin toxicity, so prevention is key. Keep your horse far away from chicken and cattle feed. And in order to avoid accidental factory contamination, choose a product from a company that only manufactures feed for horses.