Plan Ahead, But Resist The Urge To Hoard Horse Feed

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of overbuying of food, and this is not only at the grocery stores. Horse owners may have an urge to buy more feed than usual.

Bob Coleman, extension equine specialist for the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, urged horse owners to take a step back and think before making extra feed purchases.

“I can certainly understand that horse owners may be a bit worried about the feed supply,” he said. “I think it’s always smart, not just during a pandemic, to think ahead and try to anticipate your normal feed needs. Maybe plan to buy a little bit more than usual, but don’t go overboard.”

Thinking about feed needs in terms of a week or two at a time will help horse owners feel confident they have enough to cover those needs.

“If the truck delivers feed on say Tuesday, think about what you need for a week to 10 days and add a little buffer for unknowns like weather, plant delays, things like that,” Coleman said. “Also, you need to think about where you’re going to store any excess feed.”

Bagged feed needs to be off the ground and dry to keep it from any critters and from becoming moldy. Also, make sure horses don’t have easy access to feed storage areas.

“You want to make sure you store the oldest bag on top, so that you use it first,” he said. “Or if you use bulk feeders, make sure the oldest feed is on the bottom, so you use it first. This is just a best management practice, so you can make sure you maintain freshness.”

Buying a month’s worth of feed is probably too much. With all the COVID-19-related closures, horses are not as active as usual and that reduces their energy expenditures and ultimately the amount of feed they require.

“Work with your feed supplier or contact your local extension agent if you need help determining your horse’s nutritional needs,” Coleman said. “They may need more hay and less grain right now. It’s also good to ask the feed supplier what their COVID-19 procedures are right now. They may not be able to load the feed for you, if you pick it up yourself.”

Coleman emphasized that planning for horse’s feed needs is not something unique to pandemic times.

“You always need to be thinking ahead about what you need, where you’re going to get it and how you’re going to store it,” he said. “No one wants to run out, but you also don’t want to get into a situation where you have to throw out feed.”

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Can Horses Be Sleep Deprived?

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Sleep is vitally important to horses, but equines don’t require the eight consecutive hours many humans need to be healthy and rested. Instead, the average horse will spend just under three hours per day asleep; this sleep will be spaced out throughout the entire 24-hour time period. It’s rare for an adult horse to spend over 10 minutes asleep at any one time. This means that a horse sleeps between 15 and 21 times a day.

Horses can sleep standing up using a “stay apparatus” that effectively locks their legs in place using a group of ligaments, tendons and muscles. As horses are prey animals, using this mechanism allows the horse to move quickly if any predators are around. Generally, a horse that is resting on three legs is dozing and not actively asleep. When standing, horses tend to keep one or both eyes open, even while dozing. This also allows him to react quickly should a predator threaten.

 

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Grazing Cattle With Horses Can Help Control Worms, Study Finds

by | 11.30.2019

Grazing horses and cattle together has long been suggested as a tool for helping control strongyle worms, but little research has been done to prove its efficacy. The majority of gastrointestinal parasites are host specific, meaning that the infective stages of equine worms ingested by cattle won’t develop into adults; the same is true for cattle worms ingested by horses.

In addition, horses and cattle graze differently; horses graze close to the ground and avoid areas where there is manure. Cattle can’t graze as close to the ground as horses and will graze areas that horses avoid.

A new study out of France used 44 breeding farms in two different regions of the country to test the benefits of grazing both species together. The farms raised both sport horses and pleasure horses; some were equine-only farms and others grazed cattle with their horses.

Researchers used surveys and interviews to determine stocking rate, the amount of pasture used for grazing and how much deworming products were used, as well as general pasture management. They found the following:

  • Few farmers understood that grazing horses and cattle together could be part of their deworming protocol
  • Many farms still rely on fenbendazole though resistance to the drug is well known
  • Young horses treated with moxidectin and grazed with cattle had 50 percent fewer stronglye eggs in their feces then their counterparts that were grazed in horse-only pastures

The study concluded that grazing horses with cattle is a promising alternative to controlling worms that is largely unused by horse farm owners.

Read more at Equine Science Update

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Running Hot and Cold: Caring for Horses During Weather Changes

Horses are very adaptable and typically can handle significant temperature swings. It’s when we alter their natural condition and confine them or haul them from one climate to another that they tend to struggle.

 

When the mercury rises or drops dramatically, will your horse be prepared?

In October 2013 South Dakota livestock and farmers were experiencing balmy 70- and 80-degree temperatures when a storm moved in from the Rockies and a cold front from Canada. The collision of the air masses created heavy rain, winds up to 70 mph, and a dangerous blizzard. Many cattle drifted with the storm, piling up against fences, getting covered with snow, and freezing to death because they were soaked with rain before the snow and cold temperatures set in. Though there were some equine losses, outdoor horses generally fared better than cattle because they’re more adept at finding windbreak and shelter. But horses with no reprieve from the elements likely suffered cold stress and frostbite.

Similarly, albeit not so drastically, horses might have a tough time adjusting to the elements when moving from a cold climate to a hot one (or vice versa) or when body-clipped during a serious cold snap.

 

Read the Horse article

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FDA Issues Warning After Compounded EPM Medication Leads To The Death Of Three Horses

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is alerting horse owners and veterinarians that one lot of a compounded combination drug product containing pyrimethamine and toltrazuril has been associated with adverse events in at least three horses. Two horses in Maine and one in Ohio ultimately died or were euthanized as a result.

The FDA recently finalized testing that revealed that this lot of product contained approximately 18 to 21 times the pyrimethamine indicated on the labeling. High doses of pyrimethamine can cause symptoms such as seizures, fever, and death.

Rapid Equine Solutions, LLC of Aston, PA, compounded the product, which was labeled as containing toltrazuril 416 mg/ml and pyrimethamine 17 mg/ml, packaged in 60 ml oral paste syringes for the treatment of the neurologic disease Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM). This product lot is accounted for and is no longer in distribution. The firm learned of the adverse events on May 24, 2019 and initiated a recall to the consumer/user level the same day.

The FDA is working with Rapid Equine Solutions and state partners to investigate these adverse events.

previous incident linked to a different compounder also involved erroneously formulated compounded pyrimethamine/toltrazuril products that led to equine deaths. The previous incident occurred in 2014 and resulted in the deaths of four horses.

It is important to note that compounded products are not FDA-approved animal drugs. Additionally, toltrazuril is not FDA-approved for use in horses. The FDA has serious safety concerns about unapproved animal drugs, including certain compounded animal drugs, because they are of unknown quality have not been evaluated by the FDA for safety and effectiveness. Unapproved animal drugs also may not be labeled appropriately, which could potentially result in unsafe use of the product.

The FDA has approved several drug products for the treatment of EPM.  Horse owners should consult their veterinarian for treatment advice.

The FDA encourages horse owners, caretakers and veterinarians to report adverse events to the FDA (such as seizure, fever, or collapse) in horses being treated with compounded pyrimethamine-containing products.

Owners and veterinarians can report complaints about animal drug products by following the instructions at: How to Report Animal Drug Side Effects and Product Problems.

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Cast Horses: What To Do (And What Not To Do) To Help

by | 06.13.2019 | 12:21pm

This horse is not cast, but is getting up after lying down, demonstrating the way horses need to push their front legs out to get their balance when rising.

Horsemen probably don’t comprehend how big and heavy a horse actually is until it gets cast against or under something and they have to get it unstuck. One futile tug on the mane of a cast horse and the person quickly will realize he or she needs assistance.

“The first thing I would say is to get some help,” said Dr. Sally DeNotta, extension specialist and assistant professor of large animal internal medicine at the University of Florida. “You don’t want to be in the stall with a cast horse alone because it’s dangerous and they’re big.”

 

Read Paulick Report Article Here

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Bad Behavior Or Sign Of Pain? Horses Are Trying To Tell Us

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Any time a horse expresses resistance or undesirable behavior, it’s worthwhile to investigate why—it’s not always a training issue he’s simply refusing to do; the horse may be in pain. Horses have no ulterior motive; they simply seek relief from discomfort. Identifying the root cause of the discomfort the horse is trying to get away from can be challenging, yet is necessary to resolve the issue.

A horse that swishes his tail, pins his ears or acts angry when girthed is trying to tell the rider something; if not addressed while small expressions, the outbursts may ramp up to bucking, rearing, bolting or otherwise attempting to avoid pain.

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April Showers Bring May Flowers…And Rain Rot, Dew Poisoning and Abscesses

By Jen Roytz

They say April showers bring May flowers, but that’s not the only thing they bring. Rain rot, dew poisoning and abscesses are some of the less enjoyable products of spring’s rainy days and muddy pastures. While some horses seem to simply be more prone to wet weather-related ailments than others, there are a number of things horsemen can do to minimize the severity of ailments such as rain rot, or avoid them all together.

Though often mistaken as a fungal disease, rain rot (or rain scald) is a common bacterial infection of the skin (also known as Dermatophilosis). Dermatophilus congolensis, the bacteria that causes the infection, lives dormant in the outer layer of the skin. When the skin is exposed to prolonged moisture (high humidity, rain, sweat), the bacteria infects the compromised skin, resulting in crusty, puss-filled scabs between the living and dead layer of skin.

To Read TDN Article

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What Medications Are Safe for Mares?

Giving medications to pregnant mares is never without risk and should always be discussed with your veterinarian.

Which drugs are safe for use in pregnant mares? 

My pregnant mare is colicking … can I give her Banamine? She needs a laceration sutured … is it safe for her to get a sedative? What about her fall vaccines?

Which common drugs and medications are safe for use in pregnant mares is a huge topic with more questions than answers, says Margo Macpherson, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACT, professor of large animal reproduction at the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine, in Gainesville. This is primarily because very few drugs have been thoroughly evaluated and validated for use in this population.

Click Here to Read The Horse Article

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Horse Health: You Can Lead a Horse to Water…

By Jen Roytz

We’ve all heard the saying “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.” Horses have to be thirsty in order to consume water, and the lynchpin in that scenario is salt. Dehydration in horses–or any animal–can quickly escalate from mild to catastrophic. Their internal environment is water-based, and salt is the driving force behind the regulation and distribution of water in and out of cells.

“Salt is 39% sodium and 61% chloride. When consumed, salt will split in the body into the separate minerals to be used independently (as electrolytes),” said Dr. Kathleen Crandell, PhD, a nutritionist with Kentucky Equine Research (KER). “Both these minerals have independent roles in the body, but mainly they work together balancing fluid movement in and out of the cells and acid-base balance, as well as electrical impulse conduction in nerves and muscles. Further, sodium is needed for transport of substances across cell membranes, like glucose.”

LInk to TDN Article

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