Horses exhibiting heel pain are often diagnosed with navicular syndrome. It is a common – and frustrating – issue to deal with, but it no longer spells immediate retirement for the horse. With early diagnosis and proper treatment, a horse with navicular syndrome may still have a useful life for a considerable period of time. Navicular syndrome is a chronic degenerative condition that can cause lameness in the front legs. It is most commonly seen in competition horses and quarter horses.
Maintaining your horse's digestive health is integral to maintaining their overall health. Digestive issues such as colic, ulcers, and hindgut acidosis are some of the most commonly diagnosed health conditions in horses. Learn about research-backed digestive health supplements that can help your horse.
What’s the difference between squamous ulcers and glandular ulcers in horses? Different types of stomach ulcers in horses are commonly described as the general diagnosis of Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS). However, new research suggests it is better to refer to gastric ulcers as two different syndromes depending on the location of ulceration.
Nutrition and feeding play an integral role in the prevention of equine ulcers. Ulcer-prone horses can benefit greatly from a feeding program that supports gut health and supports the horse's natural defences against ulcers. Equine ulcers are painful sores or lesions that develop along the digestive tract lining. They can cause poor performance, aggression, and girthiness in your horse. Forage type, meal size, meal composition, and feeding frequency can all impact ulcer risk.
Right dorsal colitis (RDC) is a specific type of ulcerative disease in horses localized to the right, upper region of the large intestine. RDC is sometimes referred to as hindgut ulcers. Horses with RDC can show signs of weight loss, diarrhea, lethargy and reoccurring episodes of colic. In many cases, horses affected by hindgut ulcers have received a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) in the recent past.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) are some of the most commonly used equine medications. They come in several forms, including tablets, powder, paste, or as an injectable. As their name implies, NSAIDs help to control inflammation in the body. Therefore, they are used for a variety of equine ailments such as pain caused by muscle, ligament, or tendon injuries, osteoarthritis, wounds, and colic.
Omeprazole is an FDA-approved drug that is sold under the tradenames GastroGard and UlcerGard. Omeprazole is used to prevent or treat equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS). Gastric ulceration is a painful condition with an extremely high prevalence in horses. Up to 90% of performance horses are affected by EGUS. High rates of pleasure horses are affected as well. Ulcers are sores or lesions that develop in the intestinal lining of the horse. They can cause your horse to become girthy, resistant to training, agitated and generally crabby.
As many horse owners know, colic is an unpredictable, painful, and sometimes fatal condition. Colic refers to abdominal pain in your horse. It is an amorphous condition that can lead to potentially serious health complications. Colic may present as a mild case that is resolved in less than 24 hours with veterinary treatment. Colic can also be more severe, requiring emergency surgery.
Antacid supplements are some of the most popular options for equine gastric ulcer treatment and prevention – but could they be causing more harm than good? Antacids, such as magnesium hydroxide, are chemical compounds that neutralize stomach acid to temporarily facilitate tissue healing. Excessive acidity in the horse's gastrointestinal tract can result in ulcers developing as cells of the intestinal wall are eroded away.
Vitamins are organic compounds that are essential for all living things. Vitamins have diverse roles within the horse's body, affecting energy metabolism, growth and repair, muscle function, neurological health, immune function and much more. Vitamins function as cofactors for metabolic reactions, including the breakdown of sugars and fats for energy, hormone synthesis, nerve impulse transmission, muscle contraction and more. Your horse's current vitamin requirements depend on age, exercise level, reproductive status (pregnant and lactating) and health status.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a broad term that describes a group of diseases marked by inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract of the horse. Horses with IBD may show outward signs including recurrent colic, diarrhea, weight loss, and low energy levels. IBD in horses is a rare, but severe, inflammatory condition that affects gut permeability and nutrient absorption.
Lameness in the horse's stifle joint can result in shortened stride length, reluctance to work or a rough canter. While lameness is more commonly attributed to problems with the hock joint, stifle lameness is seen frequently in performance horses. The stifle is considered the most complex joint in the horse's body with a similar function to the human knee. Stifle injuries can result from repetitive stress, trauma, excessive use, changes in direction and rapid deceleration. Horses engaged in jumping and barrel racing are most at risk of these injuries.
Mad Barn founder Scott Cieslar sat down with Jess Einwechter of Springen EQ to cover some hot topics in equine nutrition. Jess is a professional rider and coach from Ontario, Canada and the host of the popular Springen Equestrian podcast. In this episode, Scott and Jess discuss the importance of a forage-first feeding program for your horse, how to reduce equine ulcers, and how to support your horse’s joint health.
What can you do to prevent ulcers from developing in your horse? Equine ulcers are all too common, with studies showing that up to 90% of horses will be affected by ulcers in their lifetime. Stomach ulcers, also known as Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS), are most common in horses. But ulcers can occur along the entire digestive tract.
Hindgut acidosis is a condition in which the hindgut of the horse becomes excessively acidic. It is usually caused by too much starch in the horse’s diet, resulting in increased production of lactic acid in the lower intestinal tract. When lactic acid levels rise, the result is a lower pH environment in the hindgut and disturbances to the microbial population.
Equine supplements targeted towards ulcer prevention are on the rise, but not all products are created equal. Dietary management for horses with ulcers can include increasing forage and decreasing grain, as well as providing supplements that support a healthy digestive tract. While there are many safe and natural ingredients that can support the healing of the gastrointestinal tract, some purported anti-ulcer supplements lack research to validate their efficacy. Other ingredients (like antacid supplements for horses) will only temporarily mask the effects of ulcers while working against the horse's natural physiology.
Equine laminitis is a painful inflammatory condition affecting the horse's hooves. Cases of laminitis range in severity from mild foot tenderness to chronic founder, potentially impeding the horse's ability to walk. Laminitis is the bane of any horse owner's existence. Horses affected by laminitis suffer excruciating pain as the soft hoof structures known as lamina become inflamed.
Colic is a painful, sometimes fatal, condition that strikes fear in the heart of any horse owner. Many cases of colic are mild and can be resolved with veterinary intervention. Others are severe enough to necessitate surgery. The term 'colic' is used to describe abdominal pain in horses. It is not one specific condition but rather a symptom associated with numerous abnormalities that affect the horse's digestive organs.
Yeast are single-cell organisms that include over 1,500 unique species found naturally in soil, plants, fruit, and on the skin and in the intestinal tract of mammals. Live yeast are used as probiotic supplements for horses, primarily to improve fibre digestion in the hindgut, bind toxins and support healthy intestinal tissue. Horses that have disrupted hindgut function observed as diarrhea, constipation, fecal water syndrome, and horses on high-grain diets would likely benefit from yeast to support a healthy gut.
Looking for ways to prevent boredom in your horse? Enrichment activities for your horse don't need to cost a lot and can be easy to set up. Many horse owners are aware of the basic components of animal welfare. You know to provide nutrition, water, shelter, safety, and medical help when needed. But a component of animal welfare that often gets missed with horses is the need to express normal and species-appropriate behaviours.
Prebiotics are types of fibre that are given to horses as a food source for the beneficial microbes in the hindgut. Prebiotics support fibre digestibility, gut health, and nutrient assimilation in the hindgut. Horses with disrupted digestive function, observed as bloating, discomfort, diarrhea, constipation, free fecal water, or intolerance to grain might benefit from prebiotics in the diet.
Free fecal water syndrome is a condition in which horses experience both solid and liquid phases during defecation. The liquid phase can occur before, during, or after defecation of the solid phase or sometimes occur completely separate from the solid phase. In simpler terms, free fecal water syndrome occurs when the horse releases solid feces, and either before, during, or after this, free water runs out of the anus.
You've probably heard about the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, but does this supplement work for horses? Fish oil is often added to diets, both human and animal, as a source of the essential omega-3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
Is your horse getting a balanced range of essential and non-essential amino acids from their feeding program? Your horse needs adequate amino acids in their diet to make proteins. Proteins are complex molecules that are required for almost every physiological function including muscle contraction, neural communication, metabolism of sugars and fats, immune responses and more.