Lameness and medical concerns in the sport horse have increased dramatically and likely are attributed to the increased use and performance level of these animals. To keep up with medical demands, we have seen an increase in our diagnostic capabilities and technologies as veterinarians. The concern that I have, as a clinician, is that the drive for these ever increasing technologies to aid in our diagnosis is rising, but it is not being counter driven by new therapies to manage the problems discovered. We raise our capabilities, hopefully to detect problems earlier, but yet our intervention techniques have not changed, giving the same results in the end for the patient. I think at times, we are missing the obvious when it comes to assisting these patients.
Stress. It impacts every dog and horse, leading to anxiety, behavioral problems, and many negative health implications. It affects them all on different levels and considering the health effects, the best option would be to just eliminate stress, but that is not always possible. The impact of stress on health is obvious and well known, but often we neglect to realize the same impact in the average dog or horse. Those effects are real, but the question comes as to what is the best way to manage them? Let’s take a look at one promising option, which is the powerful adaptogen, Ashwaghanda. (more…)
Laminitis in horses has been proposed to be one of the most common causes of euthanasia in horses next to colic. The condition comes about due to a variety of factors with some horses being more predisposed than others and the condition has varying levels of presentation in terms of severity. Ultimately, we have to ask ourselves why the condition occurs, what is going on at a cellular level and what can we do better to manage the problem and improve the outcome for the patient? In my many years of managing laminitis, I have found that the outcomes are best when we address the needs of the patient through nutritional type of resources, which I believe aid in better long term management and often improved overall health. Here is my approach when it comes to laminitis in horses for optimal outcomes.
Is it possible to enhance blood circulation, cardiac function, pump up the immune response and aid in muscle development with one ingredient? L-arginine may just prove to be that one nutrient that is lacking from so many diets, impacting the health of people, pets and horses. Whether if you are an Olympic athlete or just one seeking health solutions, L-arginine supplementation may prove to be of significant benefit on many levels. Let’s take a look at the basics and what clinical research has to show.
Glutamine is known to be one of the most abundant amino acids in the body, readily synthesized and found in the highest concentrations in skeletal muscle, lung, liver, brain and stomach tissue. glutamine is involved in the production of Glutathione, one of the most potent natural antioxidants in the body, but is also heavily involved in gastrointestinal health, wound healing and immune support. Given the high demand by many cell types within the body, glutamine may be one of the most important nutrients needed to aid in recovery from a variety of conditions, helping to boost overall cellular health, strength and stamina.
Tendons and ligaments literally hold us together, as well as our pets and equine companions. They hold joints together and allow us the flexibility to move in many directions, often taking the impact of many stressful events through their ‘stretching’ ability. Tendons are off shoots of muscles, connecting the muscle to the bone. Ligaments are fibrous connections between bones and often bridge joints, helping to provide stability to that region. These structures are important for many reasons, but damage can occur often due of over-straining, leading to months of recovery and in some cases prolonged debilitation…but there are solutions!
The common cold, influenza, allergies and even cancer have one thing in common…the immune response. The immune system is a complex network of cells and secretory chemicals designed to protect our bodies against the invasion of foreign substances including bacteria, viruses and fungi. Despite the well intentions and overall importance, sometimes thing can go wrong contributing to a host of health problems not only for ourselves, but our pets and equine companions. As a veterinarian, a high percentage of problems in our patients can be contributed to what is termed ‘immune dysfunction’, but the ultimate question lies in how these problems are best managed to improve overall health and performance. The same problems are often encountered in people additionally, leaving an open door for desirable means of supporting the immune response.
How many food sources do you know that provide the ability to rejuvenate the body, enhance energy levels, support tissue healing and repair, detoxify, support the immune response and potentially ward off dangerous cancer all in ONE? Spirulina blue green algae has been termed one of the many wonder foods of the world and has been used traditionally in many medicinal cultures to aid in the recovery of the ill and support overall health. It could be considered potentially the only food you could possibly ever need!
Do you feel the chill in the air? Winter is coming and those of us with horses know what that means! We’ve got some work to do, but hopefully, this isn’t our first time at the rodeo and we know what to expect. For those of us who are new to all this winter horse stuff, I thought it might be beneficial too offer a few tips to make sure our horses stay happy and healthy, even in the cold!
If you own a horse, one of the most important things you can do to maintain health is vaccinations, but it can also be a costly endeavor. Everyone seems to have a strategy or recommendation, but the question is ‘what is right for your horse?’. Well, that depends on many factors including location, exposure to other horses as well as general risk factors. Another thing to consider is that vaccines are not without harm and over administration of vaccines can prove to be harmful in some circumstances. Let’s explore the options and recommendations.