Turnout for your horse is important!

December 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Excellent responses to this post about a horse only receiving 2 hours of turnout a day. That’s like spending 22 hours a day in your bed.

Amplify’d from mastercardinal.com

How important is turnout to a horse’s health?

I have a young mare, and I feel that she does not get turned out enough. She gets turned out for about 2 hours per day. I’m trying to convince my mom to let me go to a barn that is a little farther away, with much better turnout. What is somethings that would be a benefit for this, and what are some affects a horse could get from not being turned out enough?

Turnout is extremely important and there are tons of affects that can come from not getting enough.

A major one is colic. The less turnout, the higher the risk. There’s tons of information and research out there on it. Colic is expensive, turnout is not.

Hoof issues. Lower limb circulation is facilitated by the pumping action of the vein system between the sole and the coffin bone. Standing in a stall does not provide this and poor hoof growth is virtually assured and it increases the risk of virtually all other hoof problems.

Behavioral problems. Stalled horses are more likely to develop stereotypies and be high strung and harder to train. A horse in a stall doesn’t get normal social interaction that they need and stalls are too far removed from their natural way of life. How would your mom like to spend 22 hours a day in a cubicle? and she’s not even adapted to plains life.

Those are the primary ones that come to mind but do some searching and you’ll find some more. The natural horsemanship sites have some good information about the pros of turnout.

Read more at mastercardinal.com


The Jurga Report: Zenyatta

November 4, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

This was a great report on Zenyatta one of the few horse trainers doing things right and it pays off!

Horse Health: What do you want to know?

May 31, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

I plan on posting more often, but I want to give you an opportunity to dictate what I write about.

So in the comments section below give me your ideas, your concerns, your desires on what you want to know about your horse as it pertains to its health.

It can be traditional or alternative, medical or surgical, nutrition, movement, lameness, dentistry, specific diseases or a general question. One rule is that I can not give advice on your specific case as in what you should do about your horse it has such and such problem. I can discuss in general a specific problem, giving you the best options and the most common methods of diagnosis and treatment.

Go ahead the floor is yours – What do you want to know?

A Team Approach to Dog Health

March 2, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Veterinary symbol - A Caduceus on a V
Image via Wikipedia

I try as hard as I can to provide some of the most up to date and relevant information on dog health on this blog; however I am only one person. As one person it is impossible to know about everything so just like I do in practice there are times that I need to consult with others in a team approach.

The team approach on the internet is very easy, especially for a veterinarian blogger. All you need to do is find some really good resources and then give them out to your readers. In my case I like to build a little bit of a relationship and know the person or company  that owns the website before I recommend them. You can build a better relationship with me by going to http://twitter.com/Dr_Dan_DVM

So now about that team approach to dog health – how about some help with prescription medications? Has your veterinarian ever used a compounding company for some of your prescription drugs? Well Wedgewood Pharmacy has an excellent website and they have a Learning Center that provides loads of information for the medications they provide and the diseases they treat –

Whether you are a veterinary professional or a pet or horse owner, there are times when you need detailed information about compounded preparations. So we’ve partnered with our own consulting veterinarians and PetMD, the pet health authority, to provide up-to-date information about common compounds including how they are prescribed, how they are administered, side effects and much more.

So be sure to check out Wedgewood Pharmacy’s Learning Center at http://www.wedgewoodpetrx.com/learning-center/ and you can follow them at http://www.twitter.com/WedgewoodPetRx

Did you know that some of the benefits of compounding include being able to give a specific type of medication that does not come in the form your pet likes from the regular pharmaceutical companies? You can find medications that are no longer produced by the major pharmaceutical companies? You can find human medications that have not been mass produced by the major pharmaceutical companies for your pet? And shh – don’t tell anyone but there are times when you can find generic form of a drug your pet needs at a much lower cost!

Wedgewood has fully supported the team approach to veterinary medicine by helping in the education of pet owners. Check them out, I recommend it.

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Spaying and Neutering Your Dog

February 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

I read an interesting article from my friend and fellow veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker on her blog/website – Mercola Healthy Pets – This One Procedure Could Reduce Your Pet’s Lifespan by Over 30% The article is based on a study done by the Gerald P. Murphy Cancer Foundation in which David Waters, DVM and others discovered that female Rottweilers that kept their ovaries for at least 6 years were 4 times more likely to have exceptional longevity.

After reading this article I am not ready to jump ship and say that I am not going to spay or neuter anymore. I agree with Dr. Becker in that each case is an individual situation and that there is no specific age right for all dogs. I believe owners should be informed of all the pros and cons of the procedure and make the decision based on all the information. One thing that I will say is that dogs should be older not younger to have the procedure done. The hormones are NEEDED for growth plate closure, which means most dogs will be over a year of age, except for toy breeds, and giant breeds may be closer to 2 years of age before neutering/spaying.

I also believe that certain situations were left out in the study as well. Now I have not read the study (yet), but there are some things that need to be noted when believing that not spaying or neutering increases the lifespan of the dog. I can not argue the fact and the common sense behind that a dog needs hormones, just as humans do, to have a properly functioning body and taking away the hormones can cause health issues. Leaving them in also causes health issues such as some cancers, some hormonal diseases, prostate issues and pyometras. So it is not the health issues that I can argue with, since there are advantages and disadvantages to both sides, but rather the social issues in today’s society that dogs have to live. The life span of an un-altered male or female can and does decrease with an increase in accidents from the desire to breed, such as being hit by a car in search of a mate. Un-altered dogs are much more likely to find ways to escape and get out. The desire to breed is very strong and for the average owner it is not possible to train them to not listen to that instinct. Multi-dog households will have an increase in fighting between unaltered animals. Male dogs as with most males of all the animal kingdom have much more aggressive attitudes and tend to have behavior problems associated with this, such as aggressive dominance and a more willingness to fight both other dogs and humans. Even if you did vasectomies and tubal ligation these behavior/social issues will still exist.

Another major decrease in life is of the unwanted puppies that are euthanized due to unwanted pregnancies due to accidental breedings. Even the most responsible, conscientious dog owner can have an accident happen and then it will affect the lives of not only their own dog but to the average of 6 other puppies that can be born of that accident.

So I am not in complete believe that not spaying or neutering will increase a dogs life because in many instances especially in today’s society it will lead to a decrease in life span. However it does warrant more investigation and it definitely is an individual thing for most owners and their pet.

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With the new research coming out with the negatives of spaying and neutering, I would think that buyers with a proven record of responsibly owning intact dogs would not be required to s/n a “pet” dog. I know that I would be willing as a …

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Aside from spaying or neutering your pet to help with the overpopulation crisis, spaying and neutering has both medical and behavioral benefits for your dog and cat. Neutering male dogs and cats make them less likely to fight with other …

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Gone to the Danes: Thoughts on spaying my dog

I went to a Chris Zink seminar recently and the spay talk was very interesting. She said that the hormones are needed to tell the dog to stop growing and to close growth plates by the time they are 15 months. She said that is why early …

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Horse Nutrition Protein: My irritation becomes your knowledge benefit

January 25, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

OK this is very irritating – one of my clients used my name to try and get the barn owner convinced that they need change the way they are feeding her horse. Now I would not have minded if the horse owner was telling the barn owner something that I believe to be true, but it is not something that I think is right for her horse.

We discussed that her horse was still a little thin but was improved from the last time I saw the horse. We also discussed that the horse could use some fat supplement to help with weight gain without making the horse excitable especially since the horse is a Thoroughbred and might be a little tough to handle if she was loaded up on a lot of grain. That was all that was said.

The owner told the barn owner that I insisted the horse be fed a specific product! To make matters worse that product is not a fat supplement but rather a protein supplement – 32% protein to be exact. Now it may be that I misheard the horse owner when she mentioned fat supplements or she thought that this particular product was a fat supplement, but in any case I would not recommend feeding a protein supplement for weight gain in horses.

A horse requires 10 to 12% protein in its diet and that is all! It does not add any benefit to add more protein as the horse does not use it to build anymore muscle but rather turns it into energy. When the body turns the extra protein into energy it produces more urea nitrogen which then passes through the kidneys and creates that horrible ammonia urine smell. Two things that make this scenario bad. One is that the ammonia produced in the urine can cause irritation to the respiratory tract which can then make the horse more susceptible to respiratory tract infections, especially in the winter time in an enclosed barn. The other is a financial issue – protein is an expensive resource to be used for weight gain – carbohydrates and fat are both cheaper and fat is the preferred for horses.

So in case that client is reading this I hope it was just a misunderstanding. I do not want you to feed that 32% protein supplement to your horse, but rather I would like to see your horse fed a fat supplement with Probiotics – something like Advanced Biological Concept’s Energy (http://www.a-b-c-plus.com/)

Other Related Articles on Nutriton for Horses

Horse nutrition

When protein is fed beyond what the horse requires, the body uses it as an energy source and excretes the unused nitrogen in the urine. Although doing so does not harm the horse, protein is a very expensive energy source. …

Publish Date: 10/15/2009 13:07


Horse Nutrition Essentials

I find many horse owners are unsure on the basic essentials for nutrition for their horse. There are thousands of supplements out there and many, many.

Publish Date: 08/30/2007 14:58


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