Following the inquiry of the Food and Welfare Authority and the press release in the media about small herbicide in luzerne, questions have arisen. Attention is being paid to this subject to avoid confusion and to provide a clear overview of all information about Small Herbicide. Hartog has been known for many years with the hazards of Jacobaea vulgaris and Small Herbicide in the horse feeders. We know how, where and when these herbs can originate. Due to strictly organized cultivation, harvesting and processing with strict control on its own, Grasdrogerij Hartog can guarantee that these herbs do not occur in harmful amounts in our horse feed.
Read more about the topic Small Herbicide:
Dimensions: 7 to 50 cm.
Flowering months: January to December.
Stems: The stems are not or slightly branched and often slightly hairy. They do not have glands.
Leaves: The leaves are slightly fleshy and on the top are shiny green. Furthermore, they are oblong, feathery (usually cut to half) with elongated toothed lobes. They are also crucified, usually bald and have a slightly rolled edge. The lower leaves are stooped to the foot stem-shaped. The top leaves do not have stalk and are stingy or not.
Flowers: The yellow flowers are in loose plums with only a few flower heads. The heads are 1 cm long and 4 to 5 mm wide. Usually there are no ribbon flowers. The turnaround is high and black spotted and about 2 times as high as wide. The outer circle has about 16 leaves (between 8 and 20).
Fruits: The seeds are pressed hairy. The fruit box is white.
Soil: Sunny, open places on dry to moist, nutritious, humous, weakly acid to calcareous soil (all soil types).
Growth sites: Dredged land, dunes, gravel, debris, plains, plants, between pavement, old walls, open beams, pebbles, vegetable gardens, fields, sidewalks, roadsides, landfills, new dikes and elder banks along the coast.
World: Europe. Now in all continents, in areas with a temperate climate.
As long as the plant grows and blossoms, there is little risk for horses, cows, goats and sheep. Small herbice tastes bitter and is usually not eaten. When a horse walks on a grassland and is not fed sufficiently or when the land is overgrown there is a chance that the horse or pony will eat the plant.
Small herbicide, like Jacobaea vulgaris, is very dangerous when it is hatched or hardened. After planting, the plant loses its typical scent, color and taste, which makes horses no longer recognizable as toxic. After mowing, the poison continues to work. Grass eaters eat on their daily hay rations and get poisonous substances. (The so-called alkaloids).
All parts of the plant contain poisonous substances. These are the so-called Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids (PAs). The fabrics are produced in order to counteract perennials (mammals, insects). The poison rate is just before blooming the highest.
How do PA's damage the liver?
As mentioned earlier, PA poisoning can be caused by both eating many PA-containing plants in a short period of time as well as by regularly eating smaller amounts over a longer period of time. Although both types of PA poisoning (acute and chronic) can lead to liver damage, they have a different effect on the liver.
Acute poisoning results in death of cells in the liver, which is also referred to as necrosis. Hereby the cells are exposed to a high concentration of PAs. As a result, a lot of dead tissue is created in the liver. The horse's body thinks that an infection occurs in the liver and can get very sick here. A horse or pony can recover or die, depending on the damage. The liver can no longer be built up as previously suffered by a loss of liver function. The loss of many liver function can result in various illnesses.
Unlike acute PA poisoning, chronic poisoning does not lead to large-scale necrosis. The small amounts of PAs will only damage the cells slightly. The slightly damaged cells will function differently and produce fabrics that will tell the other cells that they are damaged. This is also called apoptosis. Apoptosis therefore does not lead to hepatic inflammation. However, a slight loss of liver function may occur. The lost cells are replaced by cells that can still share and, if liver cells are badly damaged, they can even be repaired. This shows that there will be no irreparable liver damage under a certain level of PA poisoning.