Blueberry, Strawberry, Raspberry and the Metabolic Horse

Metabolic syndrome and obesity is an epidemic in the equine world.  The fact is that you are in control of your horse’s health, believe it or not, and the foods you choose to feed them can either assist in their vitality and health, or work against it, contributing to more disease and pain.  The blueberry is one of many fruits, including the strawberry and raspberry, that pack a powerful punch when it comes to health.  The little purple and red gems are packed full of vital nutrients and phytochemicals that can truly alter well-being and health.  The blueberry is just one of many fruits that possess these research supported powers, impacting overall health, sugar metabolism, mental well being, and even digestive health.  These benefits can impact the metabolic horse on many levels.  Many will claim that horse’s do not normally eat these fruits, which is true, but does that mean we don’t take advantage of them? (more…)

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Creating Real Change in the Metabolic Horse

The easy-keeper and metabolic horse pose many challenges to horse owners, farriers, and veterinarians in many facets of equine health and soundness.  For some owners, they are contending with weight issues, insulin resistance, laminitis, and other health concerns in their horse.  For many others, these primary issues are not the problem, but more so it is allergies, ongoing colic concerns, irritable bowel issues, hindgut acidosis, and non-healing injuries or foot problems.  While this second group doesn’t realize it, all of those issues stem from underlying weight issues, metabolic concerns, and often poor digestive health balance.  Let’s look at some new options to assist these horses. (more…)

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No Grain For My Horse? Part Two

What?  No grain for my horse??  That article was truth, speaking from my clinical and research experience in working with rehabilitation horses as a veterinarian.  While the article was very popular, it sparked many comments and questions.  How do you manage the harder keeper?  How do you manage the easy keeper??  How to you manage the performance and race horse??  How can you possibly create benefits in these horse scenarios when we have come to rely so heavily upon grain? What about NSC recommendations?  Am I just nuts, as a veterinarian?? (more…)

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Scratches, Rain Rot, Dermatitis and Skin Allergies in the Horse

Scratches, rain rot, and skin allergies in the horse…oh my!  Skin problems in the horse are very, very common and at the top of complaints for many horse owners.  For most, they are easily resolved with a little attention, while for others, the skin problems fester and turn into real concerns.  Why are these problems so common in the horse and why are some so difficult to manage, no matter what you do? (more…)

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What? No Grain for My Horse?

When you think of a horse, you almost instantly think of grain.  The two are intertwined and deeply related in our thought patterns, having for decades seen horses fed grain of some sorts.  It has become the status quo, a set tradition for most horse owners, and they are marketed to by all sorts of feed companies, telling you why you should feed their grain.  Given this, and the peer pressure from the standards of others, you simply feed a grain to your horse, often with no thought at all.  But, why do you feed that grain?  Does your horse really need it?  Or could it be creating problems or even resistance to true healing in health and soundness for your horse? (more…)

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Ketones; Going Beyond the Average Metabolic Horse

Ketosis, the ketogenic diet, and exogenous ketones have become quite popular terms in human research and medicine, with significant impacts on health.  However, one has to raise the question as to how these ketones are working, how they are benefiting health, and can they be of use in the horse? Well, despite many ‘critics’ giving their input and little research available, I’ll give you my clinical thoughts when it comes to horses, and not just perceived metabolic horses. (more…)

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Wild Yam; Can It Benefit YOUR Horse?

Wild Yam is one of a thousand of herbs out there that can benefit your horse, but each herb, despite having similar capabilities regarding inflammation, can be quite different in their overall mechanism of action.  Thus, no one herb is right or beneficial for each and every horse.  Wild Yam is one that is quite unique and an herb that I have found to have tremendous value in the right horse for a variety of reasons and issues.  The capabilities and potential are quite significant! (more…)

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Medicinal Mushrooms and the Horse; A Powerhouse of Benefits

The horse’s immune response is a very important factor to their overall health and well-being, not to mention soundness.  All too often, as owners and even veterinarians, we often overlook this key element to their health, and only see a problem in the immune response when a health ailment is present. The fact is that the equine immune response is deeply woven into the fabric of their health.  Proper support of the horse’s immune response is vital each and every day, but there are different approaches each with their own pluses or minuses.  Medicinal mushrooms are one key supplement that many have relied on for centuries for various reasons, with time proven ability to enhance, stabilize, and keep the immune response at optimal working levels.  Let’s take a deeper look at what these mushrooms have to offer. (more…)

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What’s the Cost of Joint Injections in the Horse?

Joint injections in the horse, likely the most commonly performed procedure in the horse with osteoarthritis, navicular ailments, or other lameness condition.  The second most common procedure, likely, is endoscopy for gastric ulcers.  How much does a joint injection cost in the horse?  Not just financially, but what do they cost your horse regarding future health and soundness?  Is there a downside outside of where it hits you in the pocket book?  Is there another option or alternative to a joint injection for your horse? (more…)

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Should I Use Ulcer Medications in My Horse?

Ulcers, specifically gastric or stomach ulcers, are very common in the horse.  While ulcers generally impact the horse in training or competition, they do affect horses not in active work, often to the same degree if not worse.  Ulcer medications are also heavily used in all horses with suspected or diagnosed gastric ulcers, helping to resolve the immediate crisis in some, but in the long-term, many continue to suffer.  Should you use ulcer medications in your horse? (more…)

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