top of page
  • Writer's picture

Grass is Coming! Avoid Stringhalt and Rye Grass Staggers

Spring is on the way, and soon our pastures will burst into life. Many horse pastures include perennial rye grass, flatweed, false dandelion, and catsear. which all grow well, but in excess, can resullt in horses suffering from stringhalt or rye grass staggers. Horses are susceptible to various health issues, including neurological conditions. These conditions can impact their gait, coordination, and overall well-being.

Rye Grass Staggers:

Causes: Rye grass staggers, also known as ryegrass toxicosis, is primarily caused by the consumption of endophyte-infected perennial ryegrass. The endophyte fungus produces alkaloids that can adversely affect the horse's nervous system. These alkaloids, such as ergovaline, are thought to trigger the characteristic symptoms of rye grass staggers. Symptoms: Horses affected by rye grass staggers often display symptoms such as tremors, muscle twitching, and difficulty coordinating movements. Their gait may become unsteady, and they might struggle to maintain balance. This condition can significantly impact the horse's quality of life and performance. Potential Solutions:

  1. Mycosorb: Mycosorb, a product containing yeast cell walls rich in beta-glucans, has gained attention for its potential role in managing mycotoxin exposure. Mycosorb is believed to adsorb mycotoxins in the digestive tract, potentially reducing their harmful effects.

  2. Magnesium: Magnesium, an essential mineral, plays a crucial role in nerve transmission and muscle relaxation. Supplementation with magnesium is often considered for horses with neurological symptoms, as it might help regulate nerve impulses and muscle contractions. For horses with rye grass staggers, magnesium could potentially alleviate some of the muscle tremors and uncoordinated movements.

Stringhalt: Causes: Stringhalt is another neurological disorder that affects a horse's gait. While the exact cause of stringhalt is not fully understood, it is believed to involve nerve dysfunction in the hind limbs. It can be triggered by factors such as toxic plant ingestion or certain neurological diseases. Symptoms: Horses with stringhalt exhibit exaggerated, abrupt movements of the hind limbs when walking or trotting. This results in a peculiar "hitching" or "hopping" gait. In severe cases, affected horses might have difficulty moving or even stumble. Potential Solutions:

  1. Mycosorb: Similar to its potential application in rye grass staggers, Mycosorb could also play a role in managing mycotoxin exposure that might contribute to neurological conditions like stringhalt.

  2. Magnesium: Magnesium supplementation may be beneficial for horses with stringhalt due to its potential to regulate nerve impulses and muscle contractions. By helping muscles relax and reducing involuntary contractions, magnesium might aid in alleviating the symptoms associated with stringhalt.

5 views0 comments
bottom of page