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Itching, scratching, coughing, red eyes, hair loss and oozing skin bumps....all related to allergic conditions in the horse and a common occurrence. Current approaches to therapy are often complex and unrewarding, leading to the allergic condition often becoming worse with every passing year, fluctuating from season to season.  All of these clinical signs are evidence of a deeper seated problem in the patient, and through a better understanding, we can take a different approach which often yields better management. As with most issues though, in regards to chronic disease, we have to see the root, the cause, and not so much focus on the clinical signs that are present.  

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A pain in the back; SI problems, neck stiffness and generalized back pain. Back issues and complaints in the horse are quite common, leading to lost work, poor attitudes and overall moderate difficulty in management.  Current therapies are often unrewarding, especially long term, as the main cause or root is often overlooked.  Through a better understanding of both anatomy, physiology and contributors, management becomes easier and the horse more responsive without the long term need for medications or injections.

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EIPH or exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhage is unfortunately a common condition in equine athletes, affecting upwards of 40% of race horses and an estimated 62% of QH's involved in racing, including other disciplines such as barrel racing.2  It is one of the main causes of decreased performance and also one of the more common respiratory problems found in competitive equine athletes, especially when involving epistaxis or nasal bleeding.  EIPH can be very frustrating for some trainers, due to the fact that a specific cause in each case is often not determined and response to therapies can decrease over time.  In many instances, the equine athletes are able to maintain higher levels of performance, while other are forced to retire.  As with many equine health conditions, with a better understanding, sometimes we can implement therapy options to improve the outcomes, helping to keep performance to a high level.

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The most urgent situation is always the one at hand, or in sight, right there and then.  We have to attend to emergency situations, whether if that is an acute lameness, injury, wound, health ailment or even colic situation.  They are dire, in most situations, and must be dealt with accordingly, however, once through that crisis situation, we need to step back and really look at the big picture, hopefully isolating or honing in on the cause of why things happened or developed.  This often entails looking past the obvious problems at hand, whether if that be a lameness or even a health situation, looking deeper and hopefully arriving at insight and wisdom.  Can we do this?  As easy at is sounds, it is not generally well accepted to look beyond the obvious problem at hand. Certainly a challenge for many horse owners, people themselves or even veterinarians.

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Nutrition is vital to health, impacting the immune response, muscle and tendon health, hoof, skin and even vision.  It is critical to almost every facet and function of the body, including energy production, which is at the root source.  As important as it is, nutrition is not always easy to achieve as forage sources can vary from season to season and demands by the body can equally fluctuate.  Many horse owners rely on supplemental vitamin/mineral products which are actually synthetic nutrient derivatives, which do not provide the same value as those obtained from real food.  Our horses want and demand better!

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