(CN) – Toxic black walnut wood shavings sold as bedding caused an Arabian horse to develop a painful illness, a Texas ranch claims in court.
Knight Jamaal, an Arabian horse, developed laminitis, a vascular disease that leads hoofed animals to become lame, in August, according to the complaint in Bexar County.
Hendricks Madrona Springs Ranch says it reached out to a veterinarian when the horse exhibited pain and swelling in its legs and sheath area. While examining the stable, the ranch allegedly noticed dark wood shavings with a distinct smell.
The ranch claims it had just switched out the wood shavings the day before, putting in a batch from livestock product supplier, Haul-Brooke, which obtained the bedding from manufacturer, CFTI Hardwood Products.
Once the veterinarian diagnosed the horse as suffering from acute laminitis, he tested a sample of the bedding, according to the complaint.
The ranch says Haul-Brooke identified various woods that might explain the dark shavings, first naming elder, then cherry and mesquite.
But the Texas Veterinarian Medical Diagnostic Laboratories Systems at Texas A&M University ran more tests and identified the true source – black walnut – a wood known to cause laminitis when used as horse bedding, the ranch says.
Haul-Brooke later “admitted that earlier in 2011 another shipment of shavings from CFTI had contained black walnut and caused a similar incident with another one of Haul-Brooke’s customer’s horses,” according to the complaint.
The ranch seeks exemplary damages for negligence, deceptive trade practices, breach of warranty and product liability.
It sued Haul-Brooke, CFTI, and CFTI owners, Diane and Rex Bornmann.
Knight Jamal is undergoing medical care, but its owners say they cannot show or breed the horse.
The ranch is represented by Stephanie Macchia of San Antonio.