Feed & Nutrition

Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) and Equine Cushing’s Disease (also known as Pars Pituitary Intermedia Dysfunction, or PPID) are reasonably common conditions we encounter in our horses. This article will deal primarily with EMS, but because PPID can be a cause of increased insulin levels in horses, it needs to be mentioned as well.

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When you have finally found the perfect horse to take you to the winner’s circle, it’s tough to realize that he or she might be getting old. Many horses are now competing well into their late teens and early twenties, especially in certain disciplines such as dressage or show jumping where it takes many years of training to reach an elite level of competition. However, from a veterinary perspective, horses are considered geriatric as they reach the age of 15 to 20 years, which is when their physiological functions start to decline. The management of these horses becomes crucial to keep them competing at their best.

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Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin that is an essential nutrient in equine diets. Vitamin E functions largely as a biological antioxidant in the equine body, protecting tissues from the oxidative effects of free radicals. Free radicals are a natural outcome of cell metabolism but they can become excessive during conditions of hard work or injury.

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The POG is a safe and powerful way to naturally destroy viruses and odour-causing bacteria without the use of harsh chemicals, deodorizers, or cleansers.

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Regardless of the quality of the hay being provided, key nutrients are missing and must be supplemented to achieve optimal health and prevent deficiencies over time. Ration balancers, such as Equilizer and Optimal, offer a low-calorie, low-sugar and starch option, in a convenient, easy-to-measure pellet form, that will meet the vitamin and mineral needs of horses receiving only hay or pasture.

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Whether or not to give supplements to horses has always been the topic of lively and enduring conversation. But, there is a growing community of riders and horse owners who choose to provide their horses with the supplemental balance of vitamins, minerals, and trace elements to help with health issues and augment the well-being of their animals.

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The energy requirements of the lactating mare increase by 75 percent in relation to those of the horse in maintenance, and by 43 percent in relation to the needs of the mare at the end of gestation. In fact, the energy requirements of lactating mares are roughly equivalent to those of horses in intense exercise, such as racehorses!

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