Adaptogens are powerful in their ability to impact the health of the horse, and the term ‘adaptogen’ has become rather familiar for many owners. In today’s horse world, anxiety runs very deep, contributing heavily to ulcers, irritable bowel conditions, performance issues, a lack of focus, and many other problems. For many owners, they are seeking …
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 …
Anxiety is a common problem in the equine industry, often connected right back to stress on a physical and emotional level. There are many contributors to the anxiety, ranging from diet to training, including natural personality tendencies in some breed of horses. Anxiety and stress contribute to a host of health problems in the horse and even impact performance, leading to many owners struggling to find solutions.
“Tying Up”, myositis, Monday Morning Disease and azoturia all refer to which is more technically known as Equine Rhabdomyolysis Syndrome in horses. It can be a very common problem in some disciplines and breeds. The most common breeds involved in the condition include the Quarter Horse, Thoroughbred, Arabian and the draft horses. In various research papers, tying up has been noted in approximatley 4% of Arabian Endurance horse and up to 10% of racing Throughbreds. Given the increase in the incidence and possible clinical repercussions of the condition on the performance of the horse, there has been much research trying to unravel the mystery as to what exactly causes the problem.
When you hear the word “inflammation”, the most common image is one of redness, swelling and pain. Maybe a sprained ankle, tendon or even a blister. While this is true for one form when view externally, it doesn’t always hold true. Pain is a common association with inflammation, but doesn’t always have to be present for the inflammatory process to impact health on many levels. Sometimes, it is like a smoldering fire, out of normal view, contributing to many health conditions in people, pets and horses.
Being an equine veterinarian, researcher of health and observer for over 18 years, I have come to some personal conclusions as to what seems to work when it comes to improving the health of our equine companions. I feel that optimal health can be achieved, but that doesn’t always mean extravagant living conditions or huge expense. In fact, some of the healthiest horses that I have seen as a veterinarian were those kept in large pastures with minimal man made housing, but plenty of food and attention by the owner.
An Observational Clinical Study
by Tom Schell, D.V.M, CVCH, DABVP(eq)
Anxiety and stress in horses are a common problem in the equine industry, contributing to behavioral problems, training issues and poor performance. In some cases, increased levels of anxiety are associated with health related issues such as gastric ulcers, which have been shown in some studies to impact a large percentage of horses, necessitating long term administration of anti-ulcer type of medications.
Exact causes of stress in the horse can be hard to determine, but are often linked to herd issues, housing conditions, environmental factors, handling methods, training, transportation and competition. Horses are very similar to humans in the respect that they respond better to consistency and routines on a day to day basis. Any upset in that routine can contribute to stress formation which then manifests as behavioral issues. Learned behaviors or responses to stress in prior environments can transfer forward even though the prior initiating factor has been resolved.
Stress. It impacts us all, no matter if we are a human, pet or a horse, leading to anxiety, behavioral problems and many negative health implications. It affects us 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 to our health is obvious and well known, but often we neglect to realize the same impact on our pets and equine companions. 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.