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Headshaking in the horse is a common problem and often affecting up to 30% of patients to variable levels, creating high frustration for the horse owner. The exact cause of this condition can be variable from patient to patient and thus treatment and results can be variable. Headshaking can vary in regards to presentation from simple flaring of the nostrils, flipping of the nose, rubbing the nose, snorting often, sneezing and even variable degrees of overt head shaking. Given the wide range of presentation,potential causes, lack of consistent treatment response and frustration factor for the horse owner, headshaking deserves some investigation for better management options. As is my character, let’s dig into what we know regarding headshaking and see if we can not only make sense of it, but also discover potentials for therapy. (more…)
Vision in the horse is a critical factor. Without it, they are vulnerable to attack in the wild, have a hard time navigating and encounter difficulties in training and competition. The eye in the horse also tells us a lot in regards to personality and demeanor, often allowing us to see into the spirit of the animal. It is large and obvious, often one of the first things we notice about a horse. Considering the placement of each eye in the horse, as compared to humans or even pets, their range of vision is limited and they are dependent on two functional and healthy eyes. When the health of the eye is impacted, the health and safety of the horse is likewise compromised. The equine eye is subject to a variety of conditions including corneal scratches and lacerations, but one of the most debiliating is equine recurrent uveitis or ERU, which is becoming more common place in the equine industry. What used to be a condition primarily impacting Paint breeds, Appaloosa and even fair skinned Quarter Horses, is now affecting many other breeds. The exact cause is unknown and despite the best efforts with therapy, these cases can be frustrating and financially draining for the horse owner. Our horses are our companions and given this, it is hard to see them in constant discomfort. Often, we need to step back and analyze these situations and apply what we have learned from research, to improve comfort and aid in management.
One of the most common problems in the equine athlete and pleasure horse is recurring lameness, which can be equally frustrating for owner, rider, and the veterinarian. At one moment, the issue may seem resolved, bringing relief, but then it may recur or maybe even a new problem develops. Being a veterinarian, horse owner and involved in the rehabilitation of horses, I understand the frustration but have come to realize that there is much to discover, learn and reveal when it comes to seeing the ‘entire’ horse in these situations. More often than not, the primary problem the horse is presented for is actually not the main issue, but in order to see the true problem, we need to step back and look at several factors. Despite us wanting to fix everything in one fail swoop, often the issue is more complex than we would like it to be. (more…)
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.
In today’s equine world, there is so much focus on joint health and conditioning, that we tend to forget about the bigger picture. As a veterinarian, I see so much over use, almost bordering on abuse, of various pharmaceutical medications and equine joint supplements. So many people use them, that at times, I wonder if we are actually trying to manage a condition or more so if the increased use is more to follow what another is doing, almost making it a trend without purpose. Now, I will be honest and say that many of these equine supplements and medications can prove useful in certain situations, but overall, I feel they are being overused at times, trying to accomplish things they were never intended to do.
Healthy sugar metabolism is the key to cellular function. Metabolic syndrome, type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity are strongly connected with poor sugar regulation. In horses, abnormal sugar metabolism is also closely linked with laminitis and poor hoof health.
Many allergy conditions are associated with poor digestive health and leaky gut syndrome, contributing to unhealthy levels of inflammation and poor immune response.
EQ Total Support targets equine allergy conditions associated with high levels of inflammation and pain while enhancing digestion, helping to also improve joints, mobility and tendon health. Ideal horse supplement for equine allergies, joint ailments and tendon conditions that might be associated with poor digestive ability and chronic inflammation.