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A recent publication from veterinary surgeons at the RVC Equine Referral Hospital and Bell Equine Clinic describes nine cases of suspected acorn toxicity seen at these two hospitals over the last 10 years and highlights the severity of this condition.
Acorn crops fluctuate from year to year and in a small proportion of horses exposed to acorns, toxicity causes signs of colic, bloody diarrhoea or renal disease. Recovery is possible in mildly affected cases but more severely affected cases deteriorate very rapidly despite intensive veterinary care. Further investigation into factors predisposing to disease is required, but limiting exposure to acorns in the autumn seems prudent.
Smith S, Naylor R, Knowles E, Mair T, Cahalan S, Fews D, Dunkel B. Suspected acorn toxicity in nine horses Equine Veterinary Journal 2014 doi:10.1111/evj.1230