General Health/Other

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Timing Vaccinations in Young Horses

As we move into weaning season in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s an opportune time to give thought to the timing of routine vaccinations we give to our horses. Vaccinations for Tetanus, Strangles, Equine Herpes Virus and Hendra Virus are commonly given to horses younger than 12 months of age. From a practical perspective, many vaccinations …

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optim equine bad breath in horses

Bad Breath in Horses

Bad Breath in Horses The smell of our horse’s breath isn’t something we generally give much thought to. Yet if you’ve ever smelt the breath of a horse or pony with halitosis (bad breath)- then it becomes something hard to ignore. So why do some horses and ponies have bad breath and is it something …

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An unusual case of sudden decline in sperm motility in a healthy stallion

An unusual case of sudden decline in sperm motility in a healthy stallion

An interesting case of a 10 year old Thoroughbred stallion who after having good fertility parameters for his initial 5 seasons at stud, had a marked drop off in fertility rate in his sixth season and an even more profound decrease in his seventh season. The stallion had moved farms at the conclusion of the …

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Why Basics Matter: The Importance of Chewing

When we think of digestive health (and overall health) in our horses- we’re quick to think of the gut. Whilst some may interpret this as the stomach alone, it really encompasses the digestive system at large- including both the small and large intestines. Digestion and the effects of digestive health however, aren’t limited to the …

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Heat, Humidity and Horses

Hot, humid weather brings with it some important health considerations in relation to our horses. Heat stress is one of the most commonly recognised conditions associated with heat and humidity. Heat and humidity can also play a part in some cases of colic, respiratory challenges, exertional rhabdomyolysis (tying up), poor performance and weight loss as …

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Stress in Horses: Why it isn’t always obvious

When we think of the term ‘stress’, we often think of horses that pace the fence line, shy at non-existent monsters (!), call out incessantly when their paddock mate leaves and seem to poo cow pat like manure as soon as we saddle them. Whilst all these behaviours are clear outward signs of stress, it …

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Feeding The Injured Horse

Injuries in our horses can be frustrating and upsetting occurrences- and more often than not, they tend to occur when our horses are coming along really well. Ironically, although we may seem to have more time with missing planned races, events and competitions, rehabilitating a horse properly often takes more time and effort than riding …

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The Stabled/Stalled Horse: The Impact of Ammonia and Airway Health-Optim-Equine

The Stabled/Stalled Horse: The Impact of Ammonia and Airway Health

Ammonia- the colourless gas associated with the pungent, eye watering smell when you enter some barns and when you muck out stalls- comes with some profound health effects on the horse. These effects are even more significant given many horses which are stabled are performance horses, newborn foals and/or horses who are stabled to help …

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Vitamin D and Rugging: An Important Consideration

Blanketing/rugging horses is a topic which sparks much debate, primarily due to its influence on weight regulation, metabolic function and thermoregulation in the horse. Yet an often forgotten consideration is its effect on vitamin D synthesis and hence levels of this important vitamin/hormone in the horse. Vitamin D is produced by the horse when their …

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Naturopathic Principles: Treat the Individual and not the Disease

As an Equine Naturopath, one of the questions I am most commonly asked is ‘what herb is good for X condition’ or what nutrient should I give my horse with Y condition? One of the key guiding principles of naturopathy is treating each patient as an individual. In developing effective treatment plans for the horse, …

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Horse Dental Health and Systemic Inflammation-Optim-Equine

Horse Dental Health and Systemic Inflammation

Periodontal disease (inflammation of the structures that support the tooth -including the gum, periodontal ligaments and the bone within which the tooth sits), is believed to effect at least one third of all horses, with statistics much higher in older horses. Human research has clearly linked periodontal disease with systemic inflammatory conditions and illnesses such …

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Why Can such an ‘Average’ Horse Achieve at the ‘Highest” Level?

Good horse people know that in many equestrian disciplines, success depends on an optimal partnership between horse and rider, rather than excellent individuals (either horse or rider alone).There is a small amount of research which demonstrates that a rider’s emotional state can directly influence that of the horse. Horses are known to react differently when …

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