Equine Hospital Nutritional Practices

Nutrition plays a paramount role in keeping horses healthy, with the ability to help prevent or manage specific health conditions. The need for appropriate feeding and nutrition practices becomes even more critical in cases of compromised health, such as during serious illness or post surgery. The equine patient has increased requirements of specific nutrients to optimise healing and help the body to mount appropriate immune responses. The use of medications to help treat the horse during these periods may also increase the requirements of specific nutrients.

It is concerning then, that recent research has shown that a number of US equine veterinary hospitals do not have specific nutritional protocols in place for conditions such as colic, laminitis, tying up, and post surgery. Many equine patients receive the same diet regardless of their state of health and the reason for their hospitalisation. Whilst the study was conducted only in USA equine hospitals, it is likely that similar practices may exist globally.

If all the money and effort is invested to help a horse through major medical intervention, surely adopting feeding and nutritional practices to OPTIMise their recovery is plain, simple commonsense.

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