Six horses were killed after eating feed from Gilman Co-op Creamery in Gilman, MN, which was tainted with monensin. An antimicrobial for cattle and poultry, monensin is toxic to horses in even small doses. The feed that killed the horses was a custom blend made specifically for the farm where the horses were located.
The mill makes multiple types of feed, including feed for both cattle and horses. During an inspection, the FDA determined that Gilman Co-Op Creamery first mixed cattle feed before mixing the horse feed and workers did not adequately clean the equipment between feed batches to remove all traces of monensin from the machinery.
The horse owners began feeding the contaminated feed on June 9, with one horse affected the same day; he was euthanized two days later. In total six horses were killed by the drug.
Most monensin poisonings in horses are fatal. Horses that have ingested the drug typically present with diarrhea, abdominal pain, weakness, unsteady gait, excess urination and heart failure. Horses that do survive can have damage to their muscles and heart.
Read more at the AVMA JAVMAnews.
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