A racehorse in Britain had a surprising reaction to stinging nettles, a type of weed common in Europe and North America — such an extreme reaction, in fact, that his connections thought he was suffering a heart attack, and his veterinarian is warning other owners to keep watch for the plant.
The horse was found down and in great distress, leading his connections to wonder whether he was suffering a cardiac episode or a neurological injury. Managers eventually noticed welts on his side and called attending veterinarian Dr. Camilla Nock. Nock administered corticosteroids but had to sedate the horse to keep him from continually wobbling and going down.
After the horse stabilized, he was able to stand and move normally and soundly, leading Nock to conclude he had no neurological injury or cardiac problem, but rather had been extremely distressed by an allergic reaction to the stinging nettles in his paddock.
Though many horses don't have issues with nettles, some horses will have a significant reaction if they roll in them.
Read more at Horse & Hound.
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