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Re: RC: red maple

the indiana university poison plant site says this about red maple:

50. Red Maple 

Acer rubrum 

(maple family) 

TOXICITY RATING: High, death is common. 


DANGEROUS PARTS OF PLANT: Leaves, especially when fallen, damaged, or wilted. 

CLASS OF SYMPTOMS: Breathing difficulties, jaundice, dark brown urine, death. 

PLANT DESCRIPTION: Red maple is a tree of medium size, occurring naturally
or planted as an ornamental. Young bark is a smooth gray color, older bark
is dark and broken. Leaves are 3 to 5 lobed, with shallow notches between
lobes. Underside of leaves are white. Leaves are green during the growing
season and turn red in the fall. Buds, twigs, flowers, and petioles are
red. The sap is not milky. 

SIGNS: The toxin has not been identified, but is believed to be an oxidant
due to its effects on red blood cells. Only horses are known to be
affected. The ingestion of wilted or fallen leaves causes massive
destruction of red blood cells, and the blood can no longer carry
sufficient oxygen. Ingestion of 1.5 pounds of leaves is toxic, and
ingestion of 3 pounds is lethal. Wilted or dry leaves remain toxic for
about a month. Fresh and undamaged leaves have not been implicated, but
ingestion is still not advised. Clinical signs develop within one or two
days and can include depression, lethargy, increased rate and depth of
breathing, increased heart rate, jaundice, dark brown urine, coma, and
death. Approximately 50% to 75% of affected horses die or are euthanized. 

FIRST AID: The first step is to prevent further consumption by the horse
(and any other horses on the same pasture). There is no specific treatment,
and contacting a veterinarian is advised. The veterinarian may use
methylene blue, but this is not often effective in horses, but can be tried
early in the course of the disorder. Treatment is symptomatic and
supportive and can include mineral oil and activated charcoal to prevent
further absorption in the stomach, oxygen, fluid support, and blood

SAFETY IN PREPARED FEEDS: Reports are lacking, but red maple should not be
considered safe in hay, especially if it is freshly baled. 

PREVENTION: Do not allow horses access to red maple. Most poisoning occur
in the late summer and fall when leaves fall into pastures, or at any time
when fallen limbs are placed in pastures. Apparently the leaves are
palatable, thus increasing the risk of toxicosis. Do not incorporate red
maple leaves into hay bales. 

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