Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Probiotic and Prebiotic Puzzle

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Nettie Liburt, MS, PhD, PAS
Aug 28, 2017

What we know and don't know about these digestive health products

If you’ve watched television or flipped through a lifestyle magazine lately, you’ve probably seen advertisements for health products, such as yogurt, that “contain live cultures,” touting their benefits to your digestive system. Perhaps you even use one of these probiotic supplements yourself or give one to your horse. There are so many different species of microorganisms in the horse’s gut, however, that it’s difficult to know if a probiotic supplement is the type needed to benefit his well-being.

What researchers do know is that the equine gut microbiome (microbe population) is important for overall health.

“We tend to forget that a significant percentage of the immune system is located in the gut, which is critical for regulating immune homeostasis (stability) and health,” says Amanda Adams, PhD, assistant professor at the University of Kentucky’s Gluck Equine Research Center, in Lexington...

Read more here:
http://www.thehorse.com/articles/39610/the-probiotic-and-prebiotic-puzzle?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=nutrition&utm_campaign=09-04-2017

Monday, September 11, 2017

What's New in Treating Pastern Dermatitis

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Erica Larson, News Editor
Sep 5, 2017

Those dreaded crusty and itchy scabs are back. You know the ones. They cover the back of your horse’s pasterns, sometimes spreading to his fetlocks and further. And the worst part of this so-called equine pastern dermatitis (or EPD, often referred to as scratches) is that you know you have an uphill battle in front of you—successfully returning your horse’s affected skin to health is a notoriously difficult task.

So what’s new in diagnosing and treating EPD? Anthony Yu, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVD, reviewed how to diagnose and treat this frustrating problem at the 2016 Western Veterinary Conference, held in March in Las Vegas. Yu is a board-certified veterinary allergist and dermatologist and owns Yu of Guelph Veterinary Dermatology, in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

One key thing to remember about EPD, Yu said, is that it is not, in itself, a single disease. Rather, it’s a symptom of a variety of underlying conditions. As such, accurately diagnosing which condition your horse is afflicted with is essential to prescribing the proper treatment.

And, he added, “to achieve a positive therapeutic outcome, treating the predisposing and perpetuating factors is just as important as addressing the primary cause of EPD.” In short, it’s a complex process...

Read more here:
http://www.thehorse.com/articles/37754/whats-new-in-treating-pastern-dermatitis?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=reader-favorites&utm_campaign=09-08-2017

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Ho-Hum and Hiccups

Dawn Hilliard photo
EnduranceIntrospection.com - Full Story

by Patti Stedman | Sep 3, 2017

Iggy has been my test pony for all sorts of theories I’ve accumulated over the years we’ve competed and the horses we’ve brought along.

How it is easier to start a horse who is mature and has all of his connective tissues and bone fully ‘cooked.’ How it is not distance that ruins horses getting fit or competing; it is speed. How horses retain their fitness better than humans. How critical the brain is in an endurance prospect. How training is a more important focus than conditioning.

We’ve had Iggy since late March, and we’ve been making steady progress using all of the above philosophies.

Since he appeared pretty unfit when he came home with us, we just did baby rides around the trails here at home. Hills are always a part of our workout since we live at the top of a big one, but it was all about learning to use himself, getting persuaded that yes, he really did have to work for a living, and no, the dogs who accompanied us were not an excuse for hijinks. He got stronger, fitter, and honestly, all of that went seamlessly — no filled legs, no sore backs, no attitude issues (other than the dubious work ethic — which I empathized with — I’m not sure I’d want to start working after a three year vacation either), and a generally increasing capacity and enthusiasm for the work.

Iggy attended his first competition in Ontario, Canada, at Coates Creek, a 30 mile “set speed” ride, sort of OCTRA’s hybrid version of a LD ride crossed with a CTR. AERC vetting but an ‘optimum’ time window like CTR. I had little concern for the competition or rules; I wanted to see how Iggy would perform in a competitive setting — hauling, camping, vetting, starting, recovering.

My friend Rachel rode our guy Sarge purely as chaperone.

I repeated frequently and with glee, “this weekend is all about me, beyatch.” (I’d crewed for Rachel at Old Dominion 100, so I was hamming it up.)

This is probably as close as I’ll come to a diva, but Sarge was there to get us around. Rachel was there to do whatever was needed if things went pear-shaped. Luckily for us, it was all pretty uneventful in the most stellar way.

Iggy ate, drank, vetted, traveled along, passed, got passed, walked, trotted and cantered his way around the course.

Our biggest hiccup was related to motivation. On Loop 2, which to be fair to Iggy was his first real opportunity to be tacked up AGAIN and taken out after completing a first loop, he was unsure I’d packed enough quarters for the slot...

Read more here:
http://enduranceintrospection.com/wp/ho-hum-and-hiccups/