Johnsongrass – Toxic Plant of the Week


Image from Houstonian

Welcome to a new Monday and another edition in the a-z of plants your horse can’t eat. Today’s plant is grown in crops & while not readily available to horses, Johnsongrass is dangerous enough to be aware of.

A Little About Jimmyweed

Sorghum is also called Sudan Grass & Johnsongrass. This is a grass with a coarse stem and broad, veined leaves. It can grow up to six feet tall & has large multi-branched seed heads.

How Dangerous Is It?

Although it is grown in crops, Sorghum is a grass & can grow like one. This plant contains a cyanide compound which inhibits the body’s ability to absorb oxygen. The danger to grazers is highest after a rainfall when the shoots grow quickly.

Leaves, stems & young shoots contain the highest concentration of toxins & can be fatal to unborn equines.


What To Look For

You know your animal the best, so you should know when something is amiss. Johnsongrass toxicity symptoms include loss of nerve function in bladder & hind legs, lack of coordination, constant dribbling of urine, bladder infection, fetal deformities & fetal death.

Learn More

Be sure to check out the Johnsongrass page to learn more about the plant & while you are at it why not check out more toxic plants?

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*It should be noted that I’m not a veterinarian. This information is written specifically for horses and should be used for reference purposes only. If you think your horse has eaten something toxic call your vet right away.

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