As we are beginning to see from reading Part I, there are many hoof-related lamenesses. Research suggests that up to 90% of all lameness is due to a problem in the hoof, and the causes are many. Today we will discuss corns, abscesses, and quittor. Horses, like people, get corns. Corns are the result of bruising of the sensitive sole at the junction of the hoof wall and bars of the sole. Lameness may vary from mild to extreme, and may present as both an acute or chronic condition. Bruising may be visible on the sole, but hoof testers may be necessary to identify the lesion in pigmented hooves.
Researchers are always working to determine which deviations from the norm are performance-limiting, and which ones are just unsightly.
“Why are horses designed so poorly?”
Many a horse owner who has been saddled with weeks of stall rest, repeat veterinary visits, or injury rehab has likely uttered this point, complaining about horses’ tendency to strain tendons, chip knees, and manifest various musculoskeletal afflictions. Sometimes we wish horses came with a foolproof plan for promoting optimal performance without injury.
The transition in temperature and humidity from cool season to warm season, such as winter to spring, could require an adjustment in watering horses. Reduced water consumption can impair performance and increase the risk of impaction colic. Also, horses that are not conditioned properly could sweat more profusely than a well-conditioned horse, and thus dehydrate faster. This is particularly important early in the season when temperatures change suddenly and horses might not yet be in peak condition.
Exercise is particularly important for equine weight management. Often, owners want to see an increase in muscle development in addition to an overall decrease in fat coverage. There are many myths about feeding extra protein or various supplements to “build muscle,” but if it were that easy, every person would have a lean stomach with “abs of steel.”
As a spokesperson for Dannon’s Activia Yogurt, actress Jamie Lee Curtis might have some ideas on what’s good for your horse. She understands the benefits of probiotics for a healthy digestive system. Although some might think prebiotics and probiotics are unnecessary in horse feed, here’s information to help you understand why these ingredients are beneficial to your equine partner.
Back in the day, many of us who grew up with horses had a more “traditional” view of feeding and equine nutrition. Thanks to ongoing scientific research, our horses can now enjoy an improved level of nutrition, performance and appearance. Here are five important things to know about feeding your horse:
WHY DOES ALFALFA HELP PREVENT GASTRIC ULCERS?
By Chris Bell, BSc, DVM, MVSc, Dipl. ACVS
Navicular disease is a degenerative condition of the navicular bone and soft tissues in the back of the horse’s foot. Over the years veterinarians have referred to the condition by many names, but the current accepted vernacular is “caudal heel pain.” It can be devastating when your veterinarian reaches this diagnosis, but treatment options exist and many horses can return to athletic work.
For many horse owners, the answer to the age-old question (or should we say “old age” question) about when to start a senior feeding program, isn’t always the same. Some horse owners say a good approximation is 15 or 16. Others might feel the magic number is 20, while some may never switch to a senior feed. Although the calendar might say it’s time to start treating your equine partner as an elder statesman (or woman), deciding what age a horse becomes a senior varies. If you know what to look for, your horse will tell you when it’s time. Here are some telltale signs it’s time to consider switching to a senior feed.
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