A fourth equine has died at a Florida stable from monensin toxicity, a necropsy confirms. An eight-year-old pony named Foxy was euthanized Monday morning after eating contaminated equine feed produced by a subsidiary of Alltech.
“She had severe facial swelling and her body was bloated,” says Debra Buis who boards her daughters’ two horses at Masterpiece Equestrian located in Davie. Buis says the symptoms were a sign of fluid retention believed to be caused by major organ failure. “It was very painful for her.”
The Quarter Horse mare owned by the stable was used for horseback riding lessons and in equestrian competitions. “She was loved by many little girls,” Buis added. One of her daughters, Jamie Buis, competed Foxy last year.
Last week, photographer Andrew Meade donated his services and photographed the children with their beloved horses. Ava Exelbirt posed for a modeling session with Foxy. For Hanukah, the 11-year-old asked her mom for a locket with Foxy’s picture.
A necropsy report is being prepared by the state veterinarian. Rate My Horse PRO spoke with the stable’s attorney Andrew Yaffa. “The cause of death is acute monensin toxicity,” Yaffa said after speaking with the state veterinarian’s office late Monday.
A total of 18 horses continue to suffer from various symptoms caused by the silent killer. They were fed the contaminated equine feed in October produced by Lakeland Animal Nutrition.
Three horses died that month, which led to a voluntary recall of the company’s horse feed. Last month, the business announced it would no longer manufacture equine feed.
The state is investigating the company’s practices. Lab results found of nine equine feed samples collected by Florida investigators, one was positive for monensin and lasalocid. Both are used in cattle feed to promote efficient growth but are deadly to horses. Four additional samples tested positive for monensin.
Lakeland Animal Health’s General Manager, Jonathan Lang, said Monday in a statement, “… we are committed to working with the Masterpiece Equestrian family to bring restoration in the midst of their tragic losses. Although we can never replace their horses or take away the pain of this tragedy, we are working with their representatives to expedite a resolution.”
Yaffa, who represents the majority of the horses’ owners says, “the children are devastated. There are no words.”