Feed & Nutrition

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Inspired by Nature • Powered by Science - Allergies in horses can develop at any age. Allergies are simply an imbalance of the immune system where your horse’s immune system perceives a threat from something harmless that he has come into regular contact with. Instead of eliminating microorganisms, the body suddenly starts attacking its own tissues, resulting in an overreaction to normal, everyday things such as grass, tree pollens, shavings, dust, molds, hay and straw, environmental pollutants, drugs, fly spray, or a new grooming product or shampoo. Many reactions cause a release of histamines, which cause swelling and other signs of inflammation. These symptoms are usually seen on the skin, but can also come in the form of swelling around the eyes and muzzle or even internally.

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Do you have an overweight horse? Chances are he is insulin resistant. Excess body fat leads to elevated insulin. Elevated insulin leads to more body fat storage, which leads to greater insulin resistance, and the vicious cycle continues. Even horses of normal weight can be insulin resistant, exhibited by regional fat deposits along the neck, shoulders, tailhead, and back.

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Life Data Labs, Inc., a family owned business, has been in existence for 30 years. Founder Dr. Frank Gravlee has an extensive background in equine medicine. He graduated from Auburn University School of Veterinary Medicine and practiced veterinary medicine before attending graduate school at MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology. During a three-year residency in nutritional pathology, he received a master’s degree in nutritional biochemistry and intermediary metabolism. Prior to founding Life Data Labs, he spent six years in the field of nutritional and clinical pathology.

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As a horse owner, you already understand the importance of fibre quality when it comes to choosing hay for your horse – but what about when it comes to feeds? There are such a wide variety of concentrates on the market that are categorized as “high fibre” or “fat and fibre” feeds that choosing the right product for your horse can seem a daunting task.

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Good nutrition throughout pregnancy is essential to the health of both mare and foal. Adjust your broodmare’s diet as gestation progresses to meet her changing nutrient needs.

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Common Conditions, Challenges and Pain Recognition - Keeping a horse comfortable into their senior years requires an attentive caretaker backed by a knowledgeable team. It is important to seek the input from your veterinarian and farrier to help maintain the health of an elderly equine and to spot conditions that will need special treatment sooner rather than later. Recognizing changes and not just dismissing them as “old age setting in” is a large part of the responsibility assumed when caring for the senior horse.

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“The stable environment invariably presents challenges of dust, mould and proper ventilation,” says Susan Raymond, instructor of Equine Guelph’s Management of the Equine Environment online course. “Most horses are well equipped for living outdoors and thrive, provided certain provisions are met.” Dr. Raymond completed her PhD in investigating the effects of exposure of horses to mycotoxins. She has also been involved in air quality research, which provided practical recommendations to the horse industry on stable design and management.

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