Feed & Nutrition

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If there’s one word that strikes fear in the hearts and minds of horse owners, it’s “colic.” Used to describe any form of abdominal pain, colic can affect horses for many reasons and in any season, although cold weather months are a particularly challenging time with increased risk of impaction-related colic.

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Equine Cushing’s Disease, more correctly called Pars Pituitary Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID), is a non-cancerous but progressive enlargement of the pituitary gland in the horse. It is estimated that 20 percent of horses over the age of 15 will develop PPID. Note that Cushing’s Syndrome in humans and dogs (when not due to giving too much steroidal medication) involves an actual tumour of either the pituitary or the adrenal glands, (either benign or malignant), whereas Cushing’s Disease in horses has a different cause.

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Dr. Scott Weese, Professor in Pathobiology at Ontario Veterinary College, discusses his research into infection control and bacterial infections in animals and humans.

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Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin that is an essential nutrient in equine diets. Vitamin E functions largely as a biological antioxidant in the equine body, protecting tissues from the oxidative effects of free radicals. Free radicals are a natural outcome of cell metabolism but they can become excessive during conditions of hard work or injury.

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Much more than just floating teeth! Do you remember to get an annual dental exam for your horse? A dental check by your veterinarian involves floating, the process of filing a horse’s teeth to correct irregularities in the occlusal (biting) surfaces, as well as inspecting the teeth for any indication of a variety of other potential problems. In addition to examining the teeth for abnormalities that might cause chewing and/or bitting issues, your vet will also be looking for signs of fractured or loose teeth, as well as signs of ulceration on the cheek mucosa, the tongue, or the gums (gingiva).

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With today’s medical advances, research, and improved management, horses are living longer and longer lives. In the past, most horses were considered old when they reached their late teens. These days, it’s not uncommon for horses to live into their late 20s or even into their 30s, allowing us to spend plenty of quality time with our elder equine friends. Proper management is key to ensuring that the older horse is happy and comfortable throughout his golden years.

Masterfeeds, horse nutrition, equine digestive system, free-choice forage, equine ulcers, equine hindgut, horse colic, masterfeeds

Horses have an extraordinarily large digestive system — compared to humans they have more than double the length if you were to place them side-by-side, start to finish! This long path for food digestion is packed with twists and turns (and the inability to vomit), so it’s easy to see how digestive upsets can occur in our equine partners. Below is a quick overview to give you a better understanding of how we can feed to our horses’ needs while keeping in mind how they evolved.

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