Tips and Topics

Gastric Ulcer Treatment: A Two-Step Approach

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Veterinarians and horsemen recognize the harmful effects of gastric ulceration in their horses. Colic, chronic diarrhea, decreased appetite, and weight loss are documented clinical signs of gastric ulceration. Anecdotal reports point to changes in behavior as well, including depressed attitude or a surly, sour disposition. Fortunately, scientists and nutritionists identified the frequency in which gastric ulcers occur in horses and formulated products... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Tips and Topics

Myths Concerning Feeding Fat to Endurance Horses

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MYTH: Fat is an unsuitable ingredient in the diets of endurance horses. FACT: Fat is not only a perfectly acceptable component in the diets of all performance horses, it sometimes proves to be a necessary ingredient. Due to the intense work that endurance horses perform, many are unable to maintain optimal body condition when fed forages (pasture and hay) and traditional concentrates (textured or pelleted sweet feed). Because fats contain more than two... Read More »

Category : Fat & Fiber | Tips and Topics

The Trouble with Fructans

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What is a fructan? Fructan is a type of sugar found in cool-season grasses. Instead of being digested in the foregut, fructan passes into the horse’s hindgut, where it ferments and causes the production of lactic acid. If too many fructans are consumed at one time, high levels of lactic acid can accumulate and cause the pH of the hindgut to drop. Even small changes in pH can negatively affect the delicate microflora that live in the hindgut and aid in... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

Protein Demystified

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It's all about amino acids Protein is a major component in most tissues in the horse. Proteins are made up of individual amino acids that join together to form chains. The length of the protein chains varies from protein to protein, as does the combination of amino acids making up the chains. When horses consume proteins in their diet, the proteins are broken down and absorbed as amino acids. These amino acids are then circulated in the blood and... Read More »

Category : Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics | Valuable Nutrients

Selenium: How Much Is in Your Horse’s Diet?

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FDA sets safe level for average horse The FDA has set a daily recommended level of selenium for an “average” horse at a total of 3 mg per day. This is a very safe level of selenium consumption and well below the maximum tolerable or poisonous limits. (See Nutritional Minute, Part I – Selenium.) When determining if your horse’s diet contains adequate selenium, you can use this average as a good reference point but since each horse is an... Read More »

Category : Macro & Micro Minerals | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

More Mighty Minerals

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Minerals are inorganic compounds that serve both as components in body tissue and as catalysts for various body processes. They play a critical role in a horse’s health and well-being. Minerals are broken down into two categories: macrominerals and microminerals. Macrominerals are those required by the horse in larger quantities. They are measured in the diet in grams per kilogram (g/kg). Microminerals are required in smaller quantities and are... Read More »

Category : Macro & Micro Minerals | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

Mighty Minerals

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Minerals are inorganic compounds that serve both as components in body tissue and as catalysts for various body processes. Calcium and phosphorus are perhaps the most recognizable macrominerals. As with all minerals, they are vital to your horse’s well-being. Calcium (Ca): Makes up 35% of bone structure Supports proper muscle contractions Plays a role in blood clotting Phosphorus (P): Makes up 14% to 17% of bone structure Supports... Read More »

Category : Macro & Micro Minerals | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

Myths and Facts about Protein

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Myths MYTH: Protein is a good source of energy for mature horses. BUSTED: Of the three dietary energy sources—carbohydrates, fats and protein—protein is the hardest for horses to turn into energy. It is inefficiently utilized and produces more heat during metabolism than carbohydrates or fats. A feed high in protein may not be high in energy. Energy is what mature horses need most to perform at optimal levels. MYTH: The higher the crude protein... Read More »

Category : Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics | Valuable Nutrients

The Vitamin E Controversy

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One human study showed that high doses of vitamin E might be risky; does this mean our horses are also at risk? What you need to know: Equine nutritionists and veterinarians feel that vitamin E can be beneficial to horses under certain conditions. Understanding why vitamin E is needed, when it is important to supplement vitamin E, and how to determine the correct supplementation level will protect your horse from both over- and under-supplementation.... Read More »

Category : Essential Vitamins | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

Biotin Basics

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Biotin has become commonplace in feed rooms across the world because of its reputation as an effective hoof supplement. And while this is true, some horsemen believe it to be a man-made and mystical creation. Nothing could be further from the truth. Like the more familiar niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin, biotin is first and foremost a B-vitamin. Biotin is similar to other B-vitamins in that it is essential in the conversion of feedstuffs to energy so... Read More »

Category : Essential Vitamins | Tips and Topics

Vitamin E: An Essential Nutrient for Horses

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Vitamin E is an essential nutrient for horses and is beneficial in combating the many effects of free radical production that can damage membranes and components of cells. As such, vitamin E appears to be most beneficial to young rapidly growing foals, pregnant mares, stallions, and especially equine athletes. Natural and synthetic sources of vitamin E, unlike other vitamins, have different structures, and the natural form is transported quickly and... Read More »

Category : Essential Vitamins | Tips and Topics

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