Feed & Nutrition

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Each season brings with it certain needs for equine care, and an annual horse health care agenda can help with some of the planning as the months rapidly roll by. Horse owners are good at knowing the value of organizing and preparing ahead to help their horses stay healthy, and to budget for the more expensive seasonal needs ahead of time.

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Equine Guelph Health Flash - Coronavirus (COVID-19) - The situation that we are currently facing world-wide not only impacts people but also our horses (and other animals) in our care.

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How do we see our industry? How would equine industry members describe the welfare status of Canadian horses? Which horses do they believe are the most at risk? And what do they believe threatens horse welfare?

equine Laminitis in Horses with EMS and Cushing’s Disorder, Dr. Jaini Clougher ECIR Group. Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) and Cushing’s disorder (PPID) phenylbutazone (Bute) horse is rocked back onto its haunches therapeutic hoof boots with pads vitamin e laminitis

Equine laminitis has been with us for a long, long time. Fortunately, in the last 10 to 20 years there have been great strides in understanding the causes of this terrible condition. Laminitis is now regarded as a syndrome that occurs secondary to something else, rather than a discreet disease all in itself. This has allowed much more focused research and effort in treating the cause rather than treating just the symptoms that occur in the hoof. It doesn’t matter how great the trim is, or what shoes are used, or how deep the bedding. If initiating causes such as EMS (Equine Metabolic Syndrome – see Equine Metabolic Syndrome & Equine Cushing’s Disease, Early Summer 2018 issue of Canadian Horse Journal) or PPID (Cushing’s disorder) are not addressed, the laminitis and the pain will continue.

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Horse owners in Canada know that opportunities for finding the perfect feed for their horse have probably never been better. Canadian horse owners have a multitude of feed manufacturers utilizing superior nutritional expertise to formulate an array of feeds designed to meet just about every equine need. With our increasing comfort using the internet and social media, all we need to do is sit down at the computer to find a feed that appears to best meet the needs of our horses.

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For the horse owner, the onset of fall weather can signal the start of the search for storable forage before winter begins. Considerations such as forage type and storage form, nutritional content, palatability, and cost all become important.

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During the switch to a 100 percent hay diet in the fall of the year is when many horse owners first notice that some of their horses are getting loose manure. The situation can quickly evolve into a management mess where one or more horses are so loose they can spray fecal material on the walls of the stall when they pass manure. Winter grooming becomes a major challenge for those who care for these horses as they struggle to keep tails, hocks, fetlocks, and equine clothing clean and free of encrusted manure.

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