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Horse Drooling? Ask the Expert: Slobbers

Question:  My horse is drooling excessively and I’ve heard this is from eating clover. Will this hurt my horse?

Answer:  Recently, there have been several reports of “slobbers” in horses. Slobbers, characterized by excessive salivation or drooling, is caused by a compound (slaframine) produced by the fungus Slafractonia leguminicola. Slafractonia leguminicola occurs on red clover.

Small black dots (as though dotted with a marker) on the underside of red clover leaves identify the fungus. The fungus grows best in hot, humid conditions and can cause slobbers when eaten fresh in pasture or when consumed in dried hay.

Although unsightly, horse drooling or slobbers is not a concern for horses as long as they stay hydrated.

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