Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

Synonym(s): Swamp maple, Soft maple

Contributor(s): Anthony Knight, Vetstream Ltd

Introduction

  • Red Maple is a common tree in the Eastern North America, and is cultivated in many areas for its striking red leaves in the autumn.
  • Found in forests, along roadsides and hedgerows.
  • Red leaves in the autumn   Red Maple (Acer rubrum) 01  and green leaves in the spring/summer on red stems with a white-silver underside   Red Maple (Acer rubrum) 02  .
  • Smooth, gray bark on young trees; broken, brown bark on old trees.
  • Only Acer rubrumand possibly some of its hybrids have the potential for toxicity.
  • Toxic parts:
    • Wilted/dried leaves (green leaves do not cause toxicity).
  • Only affects horses and other Equids.
  • No specific treatment.
  • Ensure removal of the plant and dried leaves from pastures. Red maples should not be planted in or around horse pastures.
  • Most horses will avoid the plant unless grazing is particularly poor, although wilted/dried leaves may be eaten in the autumn.

Toxicity

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Diagnosis

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Clinical signs

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Treatment

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Prognosis

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • McConnico R S & Browne C F (1992) The use of ascorbic acid in the treatment of 2 cases of red maple ( Acer rubrum)-poisoned horses. Cornell Vet 82, 293-300 PubMed.
  • Divers T J et al (1982) Hemolytic anemia in horses after the ingestion of red maple leaves. JAVMA 180, 300-302 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Knight A & Hall J (2004) The 10 Most Dangerous Plants for Horses. Equus 320, 71-81.
  • Knight A P & Walter R G (2001) A Guide to Plant Poisoning of Animals in North America. Teton New Media, USA.
  • Burrows G E & Tyrl R J (2001) Toxic Plants of North America. Iowa State University Press, USA.
  • Allison K (1999) A Guide to Plants Poisonous to Horses. J A Allen & Co Ltd. ISBN: 0851316980.
  • Cooper M R & Johnson A W (1998) Poisonous Plants and Fungi - An Illustrated Guide.The Stationery Office. ISBN: 0112429815.
  • Allison K & Day C (1997) A Guide to Plants Poisonous to Horses. British Association of Holistic Nutrition and Medicine.

Organization(s)

  • Cornell University - Poisonous Plants Informational Database. Website: www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants.
  • Guide to Poisonous Plants. Website: www.southcampus.colostate.edu/poisonous_plants.
  • ToxicologyOnline.com. Website: www.toxonline.com.
  • Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS), London Center, Medical Toxicology Unit, Avonley Road, London SE14 5ER, UK. Tel: +44 (0)20 7635 9195; Fax: +44 (0)20 7771 5309.
  • Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS), Leeds Center, The General Infirmary, Great George Street, Leeds LS1 3EX, UK. Tel: +44 (0)113 245 0530; Fax: +44 (0)113 244 5849.


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