Senior Horses Feeding Plans Body Condition Dental Issues Forage Protein Hydration Social Vitamins and Minerals Gut Health Sample Diets When it comes to feeding senior horses, there are many factors [...]
Putting weight on a skinny horse can be a difficult and frustrating task. There are many different causes of weight loss in horses and feeding strategies will depend on why your horse is underweight in the first place. Weight loss occurs when a horse is in a negative energy balance, meaning that they are consuming less caloric energy than they are using in a day.
Leaky gut is a digestive issue that most commonly affects performance horses. It can increase the risk of colic and causes systemic inflammation. It is said that 70% of the horseâ€™s immune system resides in the gut. The horseâ€™s gastrointestinal tract breaks down food and absorbs nutrients while blocking toxins and microbes from entering the body.
Podotrochlear Syndrome (also referred to as navicular syndrome or navicular disease) affects the podoÂtrochlear apparatus (PTA) of the equine foot and typically occurs in the forelimbs. The condition can cause a variable degree of lameness. There is no single cause of Podotrochlear Syndrome. Multiple structures including bones, tendons, and ligaments within the foot can be affected.
While line disease is a hoof condition that can lead to pain and lameness. This condition affects the equine hoof wall in one or more hooves at a time. White line disease originates as a separation between adjacent layers in the hoof wall starting at the toe, quarter, and/or heel, which can then become infected with bacteria and fungi.
How much water does your horse need to drink every day to stay healthy and how much do water requirements increase in hot conditions or when working? Ensuring adequate water intake is important for the optimal health and well-being of all horses. Some horses are more susceptible to becoming dehydrated and have a higher need for water.
Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HYPP) is a genetic condition in horses that affects how their muscles function and respond to signals from the nervous system. These horses have high levels of potassium in the blood and should be fed low potassium diets. Horses affected by HYPP have pronounced musculature which is sometimes perceived as a desirable appearance. They may also perform better in halter classes.
De-worming your horse is an important practice to prevent health complications associated with internal parasites. Worms, also known as helminths, are large endoparasites which live within horses and other mammals. In high numbers, they can result in colic, weight loss, intestinal impaction and lead to organ damage.
Equine Heaves is a condition that is characterized by inflamed airways in the lungs. This can lead to a number of associated symptoms such as chronic coughing, excess mucous, poor performance and weight loss. This condition also goes by several other names, including Recurrent Airway Obstruction (RAO), Equine Asthma, Equine Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, and Inflammatory Airway Disease (IAD).
Potomac Horse Fever (PHF) is a bacterial disease that can result in severe colic, diarrhea, inflammation, depression and laminitis. In serious cases, it can be fatal to the horse. PHF is caused by infection with Neorickettsia risticii and typically affects horses grazing in pastures that border rivers or creeks. This bacteria may be found in bodies of water or in aquatic insects.
Equine polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM or EPSM) is a genetic condition in horses that affects how muscle cells store sugars. This can lead to exercise intolerance, stiffness, and an abnormal gait in your horse. Horses with PSSM are at higher risk of tying-up episodes, known as exertional rhabdomyolysis. These episodes cause significant pain and are characterized by stiff, firm muscles along with profuse sweating and reluctance to move.
A hyperactive horse is commonly referred to as a "hot" horse. You may know the feeling of dealing with a hot horse all too well: it can feel like your horse is going to explode at any moment. Luckily, there are strategies that can be implemented to help manage hot horse. The first step is to ensure your horse has a well-balanced diet with the right amounts of energy, vitamins, and minerals.
Tying-up in horses is a colloquial term for Exertional Rhabdomyolysis, a condition involving exercise-related muscle cramping and damage. Some horses experience a single episode of tying up whereas others experience recurrent tying-up. During an episode, the affected horse becomes stiff and reluctant to move. Your horse may only taking short, shuffled steps.
Equine stereotypic behaviours are repetitive behaviours involving a constant sequence of movements that have no obvious or apparent function. Examples of common stereotypies include cribbing, wind-sucking, weaving, stall walking and head shaking.
Adequate mineral intake in your horseâ€™s diet is essential for overall well-being and function. Minerals play important roles in supporting tissue structure, enzyme reactions, energy metabolism, and maintaining electrolyte balance. Mineral deficiencies can contribute to poor hoof and coat quality, joint issues, metabolic concerns, and growth issues. Excess intake of minerals can also cause health issues.
Equine Lyme disease is a growing concern for horses in North America, especially during the summer months when tick bites are more common. Lyme disease is primarily caused by infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, a bacteria that is carried by ixodid, or hard-bodied, ticks. You may recognize this tick by its more popular name, the black-legged or deer tick (Ixodes scapularis).
Building topline muscle and dealing with topline loss is a common struggle for horse owners. Your horse may have a weak topline due to a variety of factors including nutrition and exercise. Physiological factors such as age or underlying health conditions can also affect topline muscle.
Equine odontoclastic tooth resorption and hypercementosis (EOTRH) is a progressive and painful dental condition that occurs in some horses. Primarily affecting senior horses, it typically involves the gradual degeneration of the incisors and canine teeth. Over time, the roots of these teeth are resorbed or dissolved.
Diarrhea is a common problem in horses as it can be a result of many different causes.  It is typically a sign of infection or dysbiosis in the hindgut. Diarrhea is defined as the excessive and frequent defection of loose or liquid stool. It can result in imbalanced electrolyte levels and impaired water absorption throughout the intestine.
Body condition and body weight are two very important metrics for understanding and measuring the health of your horse. Both can be assessed easily and without any expensive equipment. Body weight alone gives us very little insight into how much stored fat your horse has. An accurate Body Condition Score (BCS) can tell you whether your horse is underweight, overweight or at an appropriate weight for his or her size.
Dealing with a horse that has diarrhea requires careful attention to their feeding plan and to their daily management. In some cases, diarrhea is a temporary annoyance that resolves itself with minimal intervention. Chronic cases in which diarrhea persists for at least 7 to 14 days can require greater intervention.
Scott Cieslar of Mad Barn recently appeared on the Canada Horse Podcast by Informed Equestrian to discuss the ins and outs of equine nutrition. Scott chatted with hosts Nikki and Nadine about the horsesâ€™ core nutritional needs and how to design a forage-first feeding plan that is appropriate for pleasure horses all the way to performance athletes.
Diarrhea can affect horses of all ages, breeds and sizes, resulting in dehydration, weight loss, poor nutrient absorption or electrolyte imbalance. Diarrhea is described as the increased excretion of liquid or semi-solid feces. Cases of equine diarrhea can range in severity from mild episodes to serious and long-term episodes, which may require veterinary attention.
Mycotoxins are naturally occurring toxic substances which are produced by mould and fungus in your horseâ€™s hay. Mycotoxins can cause negative effects in horses including colic, gastrointestinal upset, weight loss, feed withdrawal, immune suppression, impaired performance or poor growth.