Western Milling announced on Sept. 25 that it has voluntarily recalled 50 lb bags of Western Blend horse feed, LOT 5251, manufactured on Sept. 8. This voluntary recall was initiated by Western Milling after it learned that an ingredient in the feed in question may contain monensin, an ionophore.
The feed subject to this recall was distributed in September to stores in California and Arizona. All stores where the bags were sold have been notified. Of the 1,100 bags being recalled, all but 67 bags have already been reclaimed by the company.
Consumers are urged to examine any bags of Western Blend horse feed purchased in September to check and see if they have Lot 5251. Any bags with this lot number may be returned to the stores where they were purchased for a full refund.
The voluntary recall comes after notification that several horses who were reported to have consumed the feed being recalled while at the same equine facility have died.
According to the FDA, clinical signs of ionophore poisoning in horses vary depending on the dosage ingested, but can include poor appetite and feed refusal of the grain product, diarrhea, weakness, rapid heart rate, labored breathing, decreased exercise tolerance, depression, wobbly gait, colic, sweating, recumbency, and sudden death. The first clinical signs are often noted from 12 to 72 hours after ingesting a toxic dose and the clinical signs may linger up to about 8 days. Permanent cardiac damage is possible in horses which showed adverse effects, but then recovered.