Dog Food Blamed for Assateague Pony Death

The mare reportedly consumed a large quantities dog food, which caused an impaction and deadly ruptured intestine.
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Authorities at the Assateague National Seashore are reminding visitors to secure their food products after a wild mare was found dead in a campground there.

More than 300 wild ponies roam Assateague Island and are managed by the National Park Service (NPS) and the Fish and Wildlife Service.

In a written statement, NPS said that on July 20, a 7-year-old mare was discovered dead near a campground. There were no apparent injuries. Further investigation revealed that days earlier, the animal had ingested large quantities of dog food, which caused an impaction and subsequent ruptured intestine causing the horse’s death.

“Most dog food contains corn, soybean, and animal products with a very high carbohydrate, protein, and fat content,” the NPS statement said. “This recipe is too rich (for equids), and in large amounts is deadly for an Assateague wild horse, whose natural forage consists of low nutrient, high fiber saltmarsh and beach grasses

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Written by:

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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