Metabolic Health

Laminitis-‘Prevention’--But-at-what-cost Optim Equine

Laminitis ‘Prevention’- But at what cost?

We all want to do what’s best for our horses. Marketing experts employed by large brands know this. Clever product marketing targets this. That’s why it is common to find products which offer a seemingly quick and easy solution to help our equine friends with health difficulties. The horse or pony prone to laminitis can …

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Selenium- Is your horse actually using the amount on the feed or supplement label?

Selenium- Is your horse actually using the amount on the feed or supplement label?

Selenium is a crucial trace-mineral in the diets of our horses and ponies. It plays many key roles in the body and is particularly important in reproductive health (both mares and stallions), recovery from exercise, healthy immune function, normal growth and development of young horses and healthy thyroid function. Selenium is a nutrient which has …

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Optim-Equine-Equine-Protein-Intake

The Importance of Protein

Protein- it’s a most crucial component of a horse’s diet, yet is commonly blamed for causing a whole host of problems in horses: Everything from ‘hot behaviour’, to joint problems, swollen legs, liver and kidney issues. Yet are these issues actually caused by protein? And what happens when we don’t feed our horses enough quality …

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Optim Equine Horse Physical Activity

Horses are meant to MOVE. A LOT…

One of the most significant impacts of modern domestication of horses is the profound reduction in daily physical activity. Even horses who are worked regularly and are in peak fitness are likely to do far less exercise than their wild counterparts. Many horses spend the majority of their days in small paddocks, yards and stables. …

Horses are meant to MOVE. A LOT… Read More »

Optim-Equine-Heat-Humidity-Horses

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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overweight-horse-and-gut-microflora

Overweight horses and ponies: there’s more to the equation than just feed…

Overweight horses and ponies can pose a real challenge for owners to manage. Particularly at times of the year where there is an abundance of lush feed. It is well known that higher levels of body fat in horses and ponies is associated with fertility complications, insulin resistance, equine metabolic syndrome and increased risk and …

Overweight horses and ponies: there’s more to the equation than just feed… Read More »

Stress-in-Horses-Why-it-isn’t-always-obvious

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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Soy-The-Good-The-Bad-The-Confusing-Optim-Equine

Soy: The Good, Bad and Confusing!

If there’s any horse feed that can cause heated debate about whether or not it is suitable and even valuable for horses- then soy may well take the cake. For the purpose of this article, we will focus on soy bean meal and feeds containing processed soy- not soy oil or soy bean hulls- as …

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Laminitis

Laminitis

Spring is here in the Southern Hemisphere! Which means crisp nights with longer daylight hours and warmer weather. After a long, cold winter-this weather is a welcome relief. But it also makes for ideal growing conditions for grass high in sugars and non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) . This puts susceptible horses at increased risk of laminitis. …

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Optim-Equne-Iodine-and-Horses

Iodine & Horses

Iodine. It’s an essential trace mineral in our horse’s diets which plays many crucial roles. It is vital as a constituent of the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Every cell in the body depends upon thyroid hormones for regulation of their metabolism, hence its crucial role in not only metabolic rate and body …

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Ulcers in Horses: The importance of understanding how medications work

Ulcers in Horses: The importance of understanding how medications work

There’s much interest in ulcers in horses and for very good reason. Equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) affects 60-90% of adult horses and 25-50% of foals and weanlings. The condition collectively refers to sores or erosions that develop in portions of the horse’s sensitive stomach lining. EGUS is largely a man-made disease: common feeding practices,  …

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The Overweight Horse: An Holistic Approach

Body weight, body condition and adiposity (levels of body fat) are factors which contribute to equine health in many different ways. Similar to the human population, the percentage of equines which are now overweight and/or obese continues to rise significantly. It is estimated in North America that more than 51% of horses and ponies are …

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An-Holistic-Approach-to-Mare-Behaviour--Optim-Equine

An Holistic Approach to Mare Behaviour

For those of you who ride mares and/or fillies you may have noticed somewhat erratic changes in her mood and behaviour during spring. The mare who was steadfast and easy going over the winter months may have at times started to become irritable, anxious, ‘girthy’, aggressive and painful or sensitive around her flanks. Gait abnormalities …

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Tying-up-Optim-Equine

Tying Up

Tying up is a broad term used to classify a wide variety of muscle disorders which result in the dissolution of muscle cells during exercise. Technically known as ‘exertional rhabdomylosis’ (ER), this syndrome is the most common muscle disorder which affects exercising horses. Clinical signs of ER vary, depending on the severity of the condition. …

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Laminitis How Naturopathy Can Help-Optim-Equine

Laminitis: How Naturopathy Can Help

What is laminitis? Laminitis is a painful, often devastating inflammatory condition affecting the lamellar tissue of the foot.  Each hoof contains 550-600 primary laminae, and each of those consists of 150-200 secondary laminae. The laminae connect the hoof wall to the coffin bone and function to provide shock absorption during locomotion, holding the coffin bone …

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Mare-Body-Condition-Osteochondrosis-Risk-in-Offspring-Optim-Equine

Mare Body Condition: Osteochondrosis Risk in Offspring

Recent research has clearly demonstrated that foals born from obese mares are at much greater risk of developing osteochondrotic lesions. This is a very important consideration, given that many people like their mares in ‘very good’ condition leading into breeding season, and that horses can often be more overweight than we perceive them to be. …

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Vitamin-D-and-Rugging-An-Important-Consideration-Optim-Equine

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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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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Vitamin-K-The-role-of-Gut-Health-and-the-Effect-on-Bone-Health-and-Insulin-Resistance

Vitamin K: The role of Gut Health and the Effect on Bone Health and Insulin Resistance

Vitamin K is a most important nutrient, which is derived from bacterial synthesis in the horse’s large intestine. For optimal levels of vitamin K to be produced, the horse must have sufficient fibre/roughage in the diet and a healthy microbial population and composition in their GIT. Keep in mind that many of the most frequently …

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Salt-An-Essential-Component-of-the-Horse's-Diet-Optim-Equine

Salt: An Essential Component of the Horse’s Diet

Salt is made up of the minerals sodium and chloride and is an essential yet often overlooked/forgotten component of the horse’s diet. If you aren’t providing supplemental salt to your horse or pony’s diet, they are most likely falling short of their needs. Although many processed feeds and balancers contain sodium and chloride, they are …

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