Brand of horse feed recalled after 3 horses died

Posted at 10:45 AM, Sep 27, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-27 13:45:10-04

A particular brand of horse feed that may have been sold in San Diego County is being recalled Sunday, following the death of three horses and sickening of dozens of others.

The feed contains ionophore, a feed additive that is fed to cattle to make them gain weight. Ionophore is toxic to horses, and there is no antidote.

One particular batch of Western Blend horse feed, sold in 50 pound sacks across California and Arizona, is blamed for the death of three horses and injury to horses at a riding school and stable near Fresno, the ABC station there reported.

Western Milling recalled its Western Blend feed, bearing lot number 5251. The company said it contains monensin, an ionophore.

According to the FDA, clinical signs of ionophore poisoning in horses vary depending on how much it ate. Symptoms can include poor appetite, diarrhea, weakness, rapid heart rate, labored breathing, colic and sudden death.

The first clinical signs are often noted from 12 to 72 hours after ingesting a toxic dose and the clinical signs may linger up to about eight days. Permanent cardiac damage is possible in horses which showed adverse
effects, but then recovered.

The feed subject to this recall was distributed in the last few weeks to stores in California and Arizona. Of the 1,100 bags mixed with the hazardous additive, all but 67 bags have already been tracked down and taken back by the company, Western Milling said in its recall notice.