Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Alfalfa Cubes Potentially Contaminated with Botulism Toxin

TheHorse.com - Full Article

Top of The Rockies alfalfa cubes are being investigated as the potential source of botulism infection in at least 15 horses.

Posted by Haylie Kerstetter | Dec 15, 2022

On Nov. 12, Top of The Rockies Horse Cubes, produced by Manzanola Feeds, released a statement to its customers asking that they discontinue feeding any alfalfa cubes dated Nov. 11-14, 2022, due to possible contamination that resulted in at least 15 horses from Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas contracting what veterinarians believe to be botulism. Ten horses were euthanized due to their rapidly declining condition, two died within two days of showing clinical signs, and two are being treated. The condition of the fifteenth horse is not known.

The company stated it has sent its alfalfa cubes for testing at Colorado State University, University of California, Davis, and the United States Department of Agriculture laboratories in Ames, Iowa. Samples of round hay bales, various feeds, and drinking water consumed by the sick horses have also been sent for testing...

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Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Prepurchase Exams: Crystal Ball Not Included in Veterinarian’s Kit

Thehorse.com - Full Article

One practitioner describes the steps he takes during a prepurchase exam to help buyers make smart decisions.

Posted by Betsy Lynch | Feb 11, 2020

As much as buyers want veterinarians to perform a prepurchase exam and predict a horse’s future, the equine doctor’s medical kit doesn’t include a crystal ball.

“The client does want us to predict,” Reese Hand, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, told practitioners at the 65th Annual American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 7-11, 2019, in Denver, Colorado. “They want us to tell them that a horse is going to be sound for so many years and that he’s going to be productive at whatever job he’s going to be asked to do.

“But keep in mind, the prepurchase exam is not a guarantee,” he continued. “You’re looking at this horse at one point in time, and you’re trying to give the buyer as much information as you can—including possible risk factors—so he can make a proper decision. But it’s a window...”

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Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Virginia Tech Releases Highly Anticipated Helmet Ratings

Chronofhorse.com - Full Article

By: Melissa Wright
Dec 6, 2022 - 9:09 PM

The Virgina Tech Helmet Lab has released its much-anticipated equestrian helmet ratings. Taking the top spot in the rankings is the $460 Champion Revolve X-Air MIPS helmet, but in good news for riders who are both frugal and safety conscious, the rest of the top three slots were filled by sub-$60 helmets, the Tuffrider Carbon Fiber ($58) and the IRH Equi-Lite ($50).

The ratings are the culmination of a research project that began in 2019 to add horseback riding helmets to the roster of sport helmets the lab evaluates. It was helped along by grants from the U.S. Equestrian Federation, U.S. Hunter Jumper Association, U.S. Eventing Association and Jacqueline Mars.

For a decade, the lab has been translating its independent research into what it calls a STAR (“Summation of Tests for Analysis of Risk”) rating system for consumers...

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What Research is Saying About Supplements for Horses

Thehorse.com - Full Article

Scientists are studying the safety, efficacy, mechanisms of action, and pharmacokinetics of equine nutritional supplements.

Posted by Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc | Dec 5, 2022

Would you like a side of science to go with your horse’s supplements?

Every year equine nutritional supplements continue to increase in popularity. Verified Market Research reported that the global nutritional supplement market for horses was valued at $73.61 million in 2018. The data used to generate that report projected a steady increase in supplement sales, potentially reaching $96.18 million by 2026.

As we’ve reported in previous years, science continues to lag behind the popularity of nutritional supplements … but not for want of trying.

“While the amount of scientific information on veterinary pet supplements and nutraceuticals is increasing, there remains a paucity of quality control, safety, and efficacy data for the majority of both the substances marketed in pet supplements and the resulting products for purchase currently available,” Carrie J. Finno, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, of the University of California, Davis, (UC Davis) School of Veterinary Medicine, wrote in a 2020 edition of Nutrition Today. “Despite this lack of evidence, the use of veterinary supplements and nutraceuticals continues to increase...”

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Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Does Your Horse Need Probiotics?

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By supplementing horses with the same kind of beneficial microorganisms that colonize their guts, probiotics might help reestablish healthy balances in the gut microbiome without causing harm.

Posted by Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA | Sep 2, 2022

If your horse’s gut microbiota is out of whack, microorganism-packed products might get him back on track

Inside the digestive system live millions of microscopic organisms that play vital roles in the horse’s digestive—and general—health. Many of these of bacteria, protozoa, archaea, and fungi help break down food and usher nutrients efficiently into the bloodstream. They play a role in metabolizing fiber, generating energy, and promoting proper intestinal transit.

While scientists still don’t know what makes up the ideal equine gut microbiota, they do know it’s a question of balance. “All these microorganisms live in a kind of symbiotic relationship when they’re in balance,” says Kathleen Crandell, PhD, a nutritionist with Kentucky Equine Research, in Versailles...

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