Sunday, February 03, 2013

Blood Tests for Performance Horses: How Helpful Are They? - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · January 17, 2013

Owners and trainers of performance horses are always looking for ways to evaluate the condition, fitness, and overall health of the equines in their care. Are managers feeding the right hay and grain in the right amounts at the right times? Are they working the horses too much, or not enough? Does a particular horse have some hidden problem of which the owner is unaware?

Blood analysis seems like a way to answer these questions. After all, the result will reveal practically everything that’s going on with this specific horse, right? Maybe, maybe not. A blood test can be helpful in determining a horse’s status, and a series of blood tests can be even more helpful. Unfortunately, however, no analysis of blood chemistry can provide a definitive answer to every nutrition, training, and performance question.

Per Spangfors, a veterinarian with Euro-Vets AB in Simlangsdalen, Sweden, submitted a paper for a Kentucky Equine Research (KER) nutrition conference on the topic of blood analysis and its relationship to feeding performance horses. According to Spangfors, there is a great danger with blood analyses in that what the owner ends up with is a set of figures on a piece of paper...

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