by Dr. Markoff
I have noticed a higher than normal amount of a pretty dangerous plant in our area lately. It iscalled yellow star thistle. This nasty little plant is toxic to horses causing a condition that makes them unable to pull food into their mouths (called prehension). When this thistle gets mixed up into a bale of hay by mistake, the results can be devastating!

Yellow Star Thistle can be dangerous to dogs and cats also. The thorns you see are extremely sharp. This plant grows right at the level of the human knee and the stickers can be anywhere from ground level on up. They can easily poke right into a dog’s eye or penetrate the skin. This sticker is extremely sharp and will hurt more as it penetrates. Maybe the worst part is that it can break off after it penetrates and leave behind a very small bit of sticker that we may not be able to see well. If you see this plan on the side of the trail (or sidewalk!!), keep your dogs away. If you think a sticker may have gone into an eye, seek veterinary care immediately. Damage to the eye is always an emergency.