Grasshopper Infestation Raises Toxic Beetle Worry For Horses

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Wyoming officials say this summer's grasshopper outbreak could be behind recent detections of a toxic beetle that can be deadly if eaten by horses.

Ranchers have reported blister beetles but have not yet reported any livestock poisonings.

Still, their mere presence is cause for concern. That's because horses that eat blister beetles can become severely ill or die from gastrointestinal, heart or kidney effects.

The first signs of blister beetle sickness are acute colic, diarrhea and excessive salivation.

Cattle and sheep can also be sickened, but not usually to the same degree as horses.

Wyoming state veterinarian Jim Logan says blister beetle outbreaks often follow significant grasshopper infestations because the beetle larva eat grasshopper eggs.

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