Lawn mowing season can be more dangerous for horses than you know. Recently, there was a post on Facebook by Red Rock Equine veterinary Inc PS/Dr. Rothschild saying that he had an emergency where he had to pump out 15 buckets of fresh grass clippings from a colicky horse’s stomach. His intention was to warn people about the lawn mowing season!
According to Dr. Rothschild, fresh grass clippings should never be fed to horses. The case he had was a result of horse eating a pile of clippings. The neighbor mowed the lawn and threw clippings over the fence. He wanted to give those horse a treat, but it didn’t end up well.
The possible results of horses eating clippings are colic, laminitis, diarrhea, and death. It happens because the center of that sugary pile of grass quickly ferments and it’s chopped very fine. So, the horses tend to gorge on it ingesting large amounts without even chewing on it. The moment the fermentation continues in their stomachs they become colicky.
The practice has shown that most of the cases have been caused by someone who had the best intentions and thought that he was doing a good thing by voluntarily feeding the horse with the clippings. Raise awareness and tell everyone around you how dangerous that can be for the horses in your neighborhood. Call your vet right away if you find out that your horse ate clippings. Take care!