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Kentucky Performance Products: Bone Density

When conditioning, bone density is just as important as cardio and muscle!
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Courtesy of Kentucky Performance Products.

Bone remodeling occurs constantly throughout a horse’s lifetime and is essential to the maintenance of proper growth, soundness and longevity. Remodeling is most active in young, growing horses, but horses of all ages experience it to some degree. There are two reasons for remodeling: firstly, it allows bones to adjust to the physical stress new activities put on the skeleton. Secondly, it replaces bone that has been damaged by injuries, and it repairs microscopic bone damage caused by recurring microtraumas.

Research has revealed that one of the keys to healthy bone formation is exercise. Exercise stresses the bone and stimulates bone remodeling. When horses are kept in stalls due to injury, relocation, or a demanding training and competition schedule, stress on the bones is insufficient to maintain optimal bone turnover and bone density is quickly lost.

Many riders forget that a horse’s skeleton is constantly changing in response to his environment and job. As workloads increase or type of work changes, bone density increases to support the additional stress on the skeleton. When exercise is decreased, bone density decreases. Horses confined to a stall may have significant losses in bone density, which leaves them at greater risk for injury or fracture when they return to work.

Consider these familiar-sounding scenarios: a young Thoroughbred is put into training for the first time, a middle-aged event horse is coming back after an injury, a pleasure horse gets a new job as a hunter. In each case it takes months for a horse’s bones to adapt to a new job or level of work. Typically cardiac and muscle conditioning occurs faster than bone adaptation, especially in horses that have been fit in the past. When conditioning, training or rehab programs are rushed, injuries occur. Establishing a slow, steady conditioning program and providing adequate levels of minerals are imperative to reduce the risk of buck shins, splints, fractures and other bone-related injuries.

Nutrients are critical to bone development.

Proper nutrition is important to optimal bone health. For example, calcium makes up 35% of bone, and microminerals such as zinc and copper play an important role as cofactors in bone development. When choosing a bone supplement look for one that includes a well-balanced blend of nutrients. Chelated minerals are digested more efficiently than plain minerals. Chelation, the bonding of minerals to amino acids, protects minerals as they travel through the digestive tract and enhances absorption. Some marine sources of calcium and trace minerals have a unique cellular structure, which makes them more digestible than commonly used ground limestone.

Ingredients to look for in bone supplement:

Macrominerals:

  • Calcium*

*The ratio of calcium (Ca) to phosphorus (P) is critical. The total diet should contain a Ca:P ratio of 2:1 to ensure optimal calcium absorption and utilization. Ratios of less than 1:1 can cause serious bone abnormalities.

Microminerals:

  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Manganese

Vitamins:

  • Vitamin D

A well-balanced bone supplement is beneficial when:

  • Mature horses are starting a new job
  • Young horses first go into training
  • Horses return to training after a layoff
  • Horses are recovering from a skeletal injury
  • Horses are on restricted diets for other medical reasons
  • Older horses have a demanding competition schedule
  • Horses are laid up due to illness or injury (supplement during the layoff period to protect bone density)

Overfeeding minerals or feeding them in the incorrect ratios can cause as much harm as underfeeding. Feed all supplements according to recommendations. Do not offer multiple mineral supplements unless directed by your veterinarian. If you are feeding the recommended amount of a fortified concentrate (grain or pellet), check with your veterinarian before offering additional mineral supplements.

Article written by KPP staff.

Copyright (C) 2015 Kentucky Performance Products, LLC. All rights reserved.

Article sponsored by BoneWiseTM: supports strong, well-developed bones throughout a horse’s lifetime.

BoneWise is available through the Wiser Concepts division of Kentucky Performance Products, LLC. Wiser Concepts products are available only through a licensed veterinarian. Visit KPPvet.com to learn more about BoneWise and contact your vet for an ordering code today.

When health issues arise, always seek the advice of a licensed veterinarian who can help you choose the correct course of action for your horse. Supplements are intended to maintain healthy systems and support recovery and healing. They are not intended to treat or cure illness or injury.


About Kentucky Performance Products, LLC: No more guesswork. No more worries. With hundreds of different supplements on the market today, trying to pick the right one for your horse can be frustrating and worrisome. Let your veterinarian and Wiser Concepts® supplements ease the uncertainty. As a team, you and your vet will choose the Wiser Concepts supplement that best meets your horse’s needs. Wiser Concepts supplements are available only through your veterinarian. Learn more at KPPvet.com.

 

KY Performance Products: Feeding Healthy Hooves

What helps your horse grow a strong, healthy hoof? Check out this infographic by Kentucky Performance Products for all the answers.

From the Kentucky Performance Products Tips & Topics blog:

Infographic courtesy of Kentucky Performance Products

Infographic courtesy of Kentucky Performance Products

Click here to download a print version of this infographic.

Copyright (C) 2015 Kentucky Performance Products, LLC.   All rights reserved.


Article sponsored by Ker-A-Form; a blend of vitamins, minerals, and fats that nourishes skin, hair coat, and hooves.

ker a form

When health issues arise, always seek the advice of a licensed veterinarian who can help you choose the correct course of action for your horse. Supplements are intended to maintain healthy systems and support recovery and healing. They are not intended to treat or cure illness or injury.


About Kentucky Performance Products, LLC: The horse that matters to you matters to us®. The horse supplements from Kentucky Performance Products, LLC provide solutions to the specific challenges facing your horse. You can count on Kentucky Performance Products to provide affordable, high-quality, research-proven products that carry a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Not sure which horse supplement best meets your horse’s needs? We are here to help. Contact us at 859-873-2974 or visit our website at KPPusa.com. Interested in e-facts about equine nutrition and horse health information? Click here to sign up for KPP’s nutritional minute.

Kentucky Performance Products: Traveler’s Tips, Pt. II

Hitting the road this summer for a big show or extended trail ride? Read this first.

Kentucky Performance Products’ infographic will help you plan ahead for travel, a continuation of last week’s article.

From the Kentucky Performance Products Tips & Topics blog:

15-174-Travel-Tips-for-Horses-Part-2-Nutrional-Support-While-Traveling

Copyright (C) 2015 Kentucky Performance Products, LLC.   All rights reserved.


Article sponsored by Neigh-Lox Advanced; healthy digestive tract formula. Blend of ingredients that work synergistically to support both a healthy foregut and hindgut so horses utilize feed more efficiently, feel better, and eat better.

neigh lox

When health issues arise, always seek the advice of a licensed veterinarian who can help you choose the correct course of action for your horse. Supplements are intended to maintain healthy systems and support recovery and healing. They are not intended to treat or cure illness or injury.


About Kentucky Performance Products, LLC: Since 1998, Kentucky Performance Products has simplified a horse owner’s search for research-proven nutritional horse supplements that meet the challenges facing modern horses. KPP horse supplements target specific nutritional needs and are formulated to complement today’s feeds, thus safeguarding against over-supplementation. Each product is scientifically formulated and made with high-quality ingredients at certified manufacturing facilities. Kentucky Performance Products is proud to offer a quality assurance promise backed by a money-back guarantee. Kentucky Performance Products brings you horse supplements you can count on because the horse that matters to you, matters to us.

Kentucky Performance Products: Traveler’s Tips, Part I

Hitting the road this summer for a big show or extended trail ride? Kentucky Performance Products’ infographic will help you plan ahead for travel.

From the Kentucky Performance Products Tips & Topics blog:

15-174-Travel-Tips-for-Horses-Part-1-Plan-Ahead

Copyright (C) 2015 Kentucky Performance Products, LLC.   All rights reserved.


Article sponsored by Equi-Jewel, a high-fat, heat-stabilized rice bran; excellent source of safe calories that support proper muscle function.

equijewel

When health issues arise, always seek the advice of a licensed veterinarian who can help you choose the correct course of action for your horse. Supplements are intended to maintain healthy systems and support recovery and healing. They are not intended to treat or cure illness or injury.


About Kentucky Performance Products, LLC: Since 1998, Kentucky Performance Products has simplified a horse owner’s search for research-proven nutritional horse supplements that meet the challenges facing modern horses. KPP horse supplements target specific nutritional needs and are formulated to complement today’s feeds, thus safeguarding against over-supplementation. Each product is scientifically formulated and made with high-quality ingredients at certified manufacturing facilities. Kentucky Performance Products is proud to offer a quality assurance promise backed by a money-back guarantee. Kentucky Performance Products brings you horse supplements you can count on because the horse that matters to you, matters to us.

 

Kentucky Performance Products: The Dangers of Medicating

Every substance you put in a horse’s body should be carefully considered. Barbara Sheridan from Equine Guelph explains.

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Article re-posted with kind permission by Equine Guelph: http://equineguelph.ca/index.php

In the management of horse health, injuries and disease, conscientious horse owners would never put their horse at risk; however, improper use of some commonly administered equine drugs can impact the health and safety of our horses more than we think. Seldom does a month go by when media attention doesn’t focus on a positive drug test in the horseracing world. The news leaves many in the horse industry to shake their heads and wonder how trainers or owners could do such a thing to their animals. But did you know that the majority of these positives involve some of the more commonly used drugs that we administer to our horses on a routine basis and which can produce some pretty unsettling results?

Under Diagnosis and Over Treatment

Used to relieve pain, allow or promote healing, and control or cure a disease process, therapeutic medications can be effective when they are used properly, but are quite dangerous when misused. Phenylbutazone, or “bute,” is one of the most commonly administered prescription drugs in the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) family. When used properly, NSAIDs offer relief from pain and help in the reduction of inflammation and fever. Found in the medicine kits of many horse owners, bute can be prescribed for a plethora of ailments, including sole bruising, hoof abscesses, tendon strains, sprained ligaments and arthritic joints.

NSAIDS are invaluable as a medication, says Dr. Alison Moore, lead veterinarian for Animal Health and Welfare at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs in Guelph, Ontario. “When used appropriately, they are very safe; however, some horse owners tend to give too much of a good thing,” she says. Dr. Moore goes on to say that this form of drug (bute) is both economical and convenient, available in either injectable and oral formulations; but is most likely to cause problems if given too long or in improperly high doses, especially if horses are more sensitive to NSAID toxicity.

“If you look at the chronic use of bute, there’s certainly known ramifications from it,” says Dr.. Moore. “There’s health derived issues including gastric and colon ulcers, as well as renal impairment. Renal impairment is more prevalent in older horses that have developed issues with their kidney function or with equine athletes that perform strenuous exercise and divert blood flow from their kidneys. Chronic or repeated dehydration is also a risk factor for renal impairment. Chronic exposure to bute is more likely to cause signs attributable to the gastrointestinal tract.”  

Clinical signs of toxicity include diarrhea, colic, ulceration of the gastrointestinal tract (seen as low protein and/or anemia on blood work or as ulcers on an endoscopic examination), poor hair coat, and weight loss. In the event of such symptoms, the medication should be stopped and the vet called for diagnosis and treatment. While a different type of drug, flunixin meglumine (trade name Banamine), is found in the same NSAID family. “It’s not typically used as chronically as bute because it’s more expensive and mostly used for gastrointestinal , muscular or ocular pain, but if misused, especially with dehydrated horses, kidney and digestive tract toxicity can occur similarly to bute,” Dr. Moore notes.

Because of the deleterious effect chronic NSAIDS can have on your horse, it is even more important not to “stack” NSAIDS. This is the process where two NSAIDS, usually bute and flunixin, or bute and firocoxib, are given at the same time. Not only does the dual administration create gastrointestinal and renal problems as listed above, but bute and flunixin given together can cause a severely low blood protein that may affect interactions with other medications.

That Calming Effect

The list of tranquilizers, sedatives and supplements intended to calm a horse can be extensive, including some which can be purchased online or at your local tack shop. For example, Acepromazine, known as “Ace,” is commonly used as a tranquilizer to keep a horse calm and relaxed by depressing the central nervous system. It is available as an injection or in granular form and does not require a prescription. If given incorrectly, it can carry a risk of injury or illness for the horse.

Tranquilizers can be used to keep horses quiet for training purposes or for stalled horses due to injury, but it can be difficult to control the dose when given orally,” states Dr. Moore. “The difficulty with chronic administration is you don’t know how much you’re dosing your horse or how the horse is metabolizing it. Since it is highly protein bound in the bloodstream, a horse with low protein may develop side effects more quickly or react to a lower dose. Side effects include prolapse of the penis, which is more of a problem in stallions, and low hematocrit, a measure of red cell percentage in the blood. At very high doses, the horse will develop ataxia [a wobbly gait] and profuse sweating.”

As every horse is different, and the correct dosage needs to be calculated based on the horse’s weight and other influences, Dr. Moore stresses the importance of having a vet oversee any tranquilizer use. It is also important to inform the veterinarian of any acepromazine given to your horse, as it can affect the outcome of veterinary procedures, such as dentistry that requires sedation.

Drug Compounding

In equine medicine, compounding is the manipulation of one drug outside its original, approved form to make a different dose for a specific patient, whether it’s mixing two drugs together or adding flavouring to a commercially available drug. However, mathematical errors can occur. Last July, Equine Canada issued a notice asking their members to use compounded drugs with caution citing that because these medications are not available as a licensed product, they may contain different concentrations compared to a licensed product. There have been several instances where the medication contained too little of an active ingredient, leaving it ineffective, or too much, which can result in death.

Compounded drugs and its related risks came to light several years ago with the high-profile deaths of 21 polo ponies at the U.S. Open Polo Championships in Wellington, Florida in 2009. After being injected with a compounded vitamin supplement that was incorrectly mixed, all 21 ponies collapsed and died. “The biggest issue with compounded drugs is that many horse owners are not often aware of what it means,” says Dr. Moore. “They think it’s a generic form of a drug, but it’s not. It’s the mixing of an active pharmaceutical ingredient, wherever it comes from in the world, with whatever flavour powder or product the pharmacy or veterinarian puts together. When going from one jar to the next, the concentrations could be different. It could be twice the strength, and that’s harmful or half the strength and have little effect.”

Because this process is not regulated with respect to quality, safety and efficacy, there can be risks associated with compounding drugs. “Technically, veterinarians are not supposed to dispense a compounded drug if there is a commercially available product already, such as phenylbutazone [bute],” says Dr. Moore. “If your vet felt that there was a therapeutic use for a combination product of bute and vitamin E, then that is a legitimate reason for compounding it. But a lot of people want to use compounded drugs because they’re cheaper. But cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean better.”

Dr. Moore explains that without careful attention to the appropriate dosage and administration, such as shaking the bottle properly so that no residue will settle in the bottom (or the last few doses will be extremely concentrated), health issues can occur. Compounded medications have provided a lot of benefit to horse health by providing access to products or product forms that would be difficult to obtain otherwise, but because of the concerns regarding quality control, horse owners should fully understand the potential risks of using a compounded product and discuss these concerns with their veterinarian.

Deworming Strategies

In the past, traditional deworming programs didn’t consider each horse as an individual, as common practice was to deworm the entire barn on a fixed, regular schedule. However, over the past 10 years, studies have shown there is a growing concern regarding parasite resistance to dewormers. Veterinarians now recommend that horses be screened for parasites by way of a fecal egg test first instead of deworming with a product that may not be effective against parasite burdens. A fecal exam is far safer than administering deworming medications that they don’t need. Dewormers are safe when used properly, including testing first and using a weight tape for an accurate dosage. Dr. Moore suggests contacting your vet to develop a deworming program that is right for your horse and your specific area.

A Question of Welfare?

Horse owners should be aware of the more frequent reactions to drug use in their horses and consider both the short term and long term effects before use. Consideration of the horse’s welfare should not only for the present, but also for its future.

With the use of drugs and horses, it’s important to:
* proceed with the guidance of your veterinarian;
* use the lowest possible dosage possible in order to achieve the desired results;
* calculate the correct dosage based on your horse’s body weight through the use of a weight tape;
* closely monitor your horse throughout the course of treatment.

“It’s being very aware of the use of our common, everyday drugs. As good a drug as it is, when it’s misused, negative effects will occur,” says Dr. Moore. “There’s a greater importance on knowing the overall health level of your horse. It’s always best to have a good base point first, and because the kidneys and liver are the two main organs that process medication, it’s important to know that those organs are working properly. That’s why those annual veterinary wellness exams are so important.”

Sign up for our free e-newsletter at EquineGuelph.ca, which delivers monthly welfare tips throughout 2015 and provides tools to aid all horse owners in carrying out their ‘Full-Circle-Responsibility’ to our beloved horses. In partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Equine Guelph is developing a ‘Full-Circle-Responsibility’ equine welfare educational initiative which stands to benefit the welfare of horses in both the racing and non-racing sectors.

About Equine Guelph:

Equine Guelph is the horse owners’ and care givers’ Centre at the University of Guelph in Canada.  It is a unique partnership dedicated to the health and well-being of horses, supported and overseen by equine industry groups.  Equine Guelph is the epicentre for academia, industry and government – for the good of the equine industry as a whole.  For further information, visit www.equineguelph.ca.

About Kentucky Performance Products, LLC: Since 1998, Kentucky Performance Products has simplified a horse owner’s search for research-proven nutritional horse supplements that meet the challenges facing modern horses. KPP horse supplements target specific nutritional needs and are formulated to complement today’s feeds, thus safeguarding against over-supplementation. Each product is scientifically formulated and made with high-quality ingredients at certified manufacturing facilities. Kentucky Performance Products is proud to offer a quality assurance promise backed by a money-back guarantee. Kentucky Performance Products brings you horse supplements you can count on because the horse that matters to you, matters to us.

Kentucky Performance Products: Fructan Overload

What is fructan overload? Our friends at Kentucky Performance Products share an educational infographic.

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Article written by KPP staff.

Copyright (C) 2015 Kentucky Performance Products, LLC.   All rights reserved.

About Kentucky Performance Products, LLC: Since 1998, Kentucky Performance Products has simplified a horse owner’s search for research-proven nutritional horse supplements that meet the challenges facing modern horses. KPP horse supplements target specific nutritional needs and are formulated to complement today’s feeds, thus safeguarding against over-supplementation. Each product is scientifically formulated and made with high-quality ingredients at certified manufacturing facilities. Kentucky Performance Products is proud to offer a quality assurance promise backed by a money-back guarantee. Kentucky Performance Products brings you horse supplements you can count on because the horse that matters to you, matters to us.

Kentucky Performance Products: Supplement Talk

Our friends at KPP share some guidelines for how to get the most bang for your buck out of your supplements.

From the Kentucky Performance Products Tips & Topics Blog:

kentucky-performance-products-summer-games-electrolyte

1. Administer the supplement according to the directions.

Let’s face it: supplements can be expensive, especially the good ones that really work. It is easy to fall into the trap of feeding less than the recommended amount or letting your supply run out from time to time, but in the long run those tactics just waste money.

Research-proven supplements are carefully formulated to be fed at specific rates. Feeding more than is recommended is not going to increase the effectiveness of the product and is a waste of your hard-earned dollars. Feeding less than the recommendation may seem like a cost-saving method, but in fact it is not. When a supplement is fed at less than the recommended amount its effectiveness is compromised and the supplement is unable to do the job it was developed to do. It can be as bad as not feeding the supplement at all! When it comes to supplements, following administration instructions saves you money in the long run.

2. Understand how to use your supplements properly.

It is important to understand how a supplement works and why you are feeding it. Some supplements are developed to be fed on an as-needed basis at variable rates: electrolytes are a good example. Others, such as those that support the digestive tract, or certain vitamins and minerals, are meant to be fed daily for specific periods of time. Some supplements require a loading dose (to raise systemic levels quickly) followed by a maintenance dose, such as many joint supplements.

Feeding daily-dose supplements erratically or letting them run out causes systemic levels to fluctuate, which leads to poor results. The supplement is blamed for not working, when in reality it is being fed incorrectly so it can’t work properly. If a supplement doesn’t seem to be working, check to make sure you are following the administration directions correctly. If you are confused about how you should be administering a supplement, contact the manufacturer for advice.

3. Use the scoop provided with the supplement.

Most supplements contain a scoop that is calibrated to deliver the correct dose. Powdered or pelleted supplements should be administered by weight not volume, so if the label calls for an ounce to be fed it is typically an ounce by weight. Liquids are the exception and may be fed by volume. Since the bulk density (the weight of a solid material per unit of volume) of a supplement varies from product to product, a scoop that holds an ounce of one product many only hold ½ ounce of another. Don’t mix and match scoops from different supplements. If you lose a scoop, call the manufacturer for advice on how to weigh out the required amount of supplement and ask for a replacement scoop!

4. Store supplements according to the manufacturer’s directions.

A high-quality supplement will include storage directions on its label. Sometimes the ingredients in a supplement can lose potency or go bad when exposed to moisture, freezing temperatures, or high heat. Take the time to read the storage instructions carefully and store your supplement properly. If a supplement contains a desiccant and comes in a resealable bag, it is probably susceptible to spoilage from excess moisture, so be sure to close it up tight after each use. Reseal lids on all supplements to protect against moisture and light, which can degrade certain ingredients. Bagged products can be kept in reusable sealed containers to reduce spoilage and keep pests out. If you are mixing your supplements in feed and letting them sit for long periods of time, check with the manufacturer to see if this will have a negative effect on the product. Some vitamins will oxidize quickly once exposed to air and sunlight.

5. Pay attention to “best if used by” and expiration dates.

A high-quality supplement will have a “best if used by” or expiration date printed on the bag or bucket. Companies that develop high-quality supplements take the time to run shelf-life tests on their products. This gives the manufacturer information about how long the active ingredients in the supplement will remain effective and safe for consumption. Once you open a supplement, use it up. If you have to store it, follow the storage directions. If you have stored a supplement for a while, be sure to check the date before using it. Don’t purchase products that are past their “best use” date.

 

Article written by KPP staff.

Copyright (C) 2015 Kentucky Performance Products, LLC.   All rights reserved.


Article sponsored by Summer Games Electrolyte, a balanced, concentrated source of electrolytes and trace minerals, the perfect all-purpose electrolyte for horses of all ages, regardless of lifestyle, and by Summer Games Plus, an electrolyte paste with Neigh-Lox for horses on the go; supports normal hydration and mineral balance plus a comfortable tummy.

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When health issues arise, always seek the advice of a licensed veterinarian who can help you choose the correct course of action for your horse. Supplements are intended to maintain healthy systems and support recovery and healing. They are not intended to treat or cure illness or injury.

About Kentucky Performance Products, LLC: Since 1998, Kentucky Performance Products has simplified a horse owner’s search for research-proven nutritional horse supplements that meet the challenges facing modern horses. KPP horse supplements target specific nutritional needs and are formulated to complement today’s feeds, thus safeguarding against over-supplementation. Each product is scientifically formulated and made with high-quality ingredients at certified manufacturing facilities. Kentucky Performance Products is proud to offer a quality assurance promise backed by a money-back guarantee. Kentucky Performance Products brings you horse supplements you can count on because the horse that matters to you, matters to us.

Kentucky Performance Products Nutritional Minute

This week’s topic: Nutrition for lay-up/convalescing horses.

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From the Kentucky Performance Products Tips & Topics Blog:

Whether a racehorse needs some downtime from the rigors of track life or a show jumper is on stall rest with a bowed tendon, the right nutrition can make a difference in recovery time and extent of recovery. Some horses will require less energy intake, while others with more significant injuries to overcome may require additional calories, because the immune system can be a major drain on energy reserves. Balanced nutrition is key to maintaining a healthy horse so during times of illness, injury or post-surgery, proper nutrition is that much more critical. Supplementing a balanced diet with nutrients that nourish and protect the digestive tract can also help to ensure your convalescing horse regains or maintains the ability to optimally digest and absorb needed energy and nutrients from feed and forage. It is important to communicate with your veterinarian when managing a lay-up or convalescing horse. He or she knows exactly what challenges your horse is facing and can help you design a diet that meets specific needs.

Important Nutrients

High-quality fiber and plenty of it

The foundation of any good diet is fiber. Fresh green grass is best but it isn’t always possible to provide it to a stall-bound horse. Hand grazing can limit boredom and provide much-needed nutrients. Long-stemmed hay should be available all the time. More mature hays that contain less energy can be used when counting calories. Richer alfalfa hays provide more energy, vitamins and minerals for horses that need them. Cubes and pellets are also appropriate, but some long-stemmed hay is necessary for a healthy GI tract.

GI tract support

Supporting optimal digestive tract health is imperative when horses are recovering from a trauma or illness. Research has shown that when a horse’s routine and diet are disrupted, he can develop gastric ulcers in a matter of days. The sensitive microbial population of your horse’s hindgut can be thrown out of balance in a matter of hours when feeding schedules are altered. Antibiotic therapy can disrupt the microbial population in the hindgut and NSAIDs can cause gastric irritation. While your horse is recovering, make all feed changes slowly, provide access to free-choice hay if possible, and feed frequent, small concentrate meals that are low in sugar and starch. Offering supplements that buffer excess acid and support healthy GI tract tissues will greatly reduce the risk of both gastric and colonic ulcers, and colic and laminitis that are caused by digestive tract imbalances. Overall GI tract health impacts the immune system, so a healthy gut really does equate to a healthier horse.

Fat

High-quality fats are excellent sources of energy for horses in need of increased calories without increased carbohydrates that may disrupt the hindgut. Fat is also a “cool” feed, in that the hormone spikes associated with high-starch feeds, which cause excitability, do not occur when fats are absorbed; thus, horses stay calmer during lay-up periods. Horses stalled for extended periods of time may become depressed or bored, but maintaining energy intake is vital for complete recovery. If horses become finicky or ‘back off’ feed, then ensuring they consume significant calories in a small meal may be necessary. Fat is the perfect ingredient to provide those extra calories.

Vitamin/ trace mineral supplementation

Horses that are intended to consume small amounts of feed as a result of post-operative care still must acquire their daily nutrients in order to recover fully. Therefore, providing convalescing horses a concentrated form of highly digestible vitamins and trace minerals plays a key role in recovery.

Natural vitamin E

Vitamin E also plays a significant role in the healing process. As a strong antioxidant, natural vitamin E can effectively minimize the negative effects from free radicals that are produced when horses are ill or suffer from injuries and infections. Convalescing/recovering horses are often kept in stalls to minimize movement and exercise. As a result, the majority of their forage intake should be in the form of high-quality hay. But even the highest quality hay does not have the same vitamin E content as fresh forage. Therefore, supplementing with this critical nutrient in its natural form is especially important for horses recovering from illness, surgery, or over-stressed limbs. Vitamin E also supports a strong immune system.

Omega-3 fatty acids

The omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are nutrients that aid in decreasing inflammation in horses recovering from injury, post-surgery, and illness. This supports quicker healing and may reduce lay-up time.

B vitamins and magnesium.

Stalled horses may become restless and rambunctious after extended stays in confinement. Keeping your horse settled and calm is particularly important for horses in recovery but tranquilizers can delay healing processes. Therefore, natural calming aids, such as thiamine (B1) and magnesium, may aid in de-stressing your horse and helping him maintain a calm attitude, which is the best attitude for optimal recovery.

Supplements recommended for lay-up or convalescing horses:

Neigh-Lox Advanced:

Multi-pronged approach that supports complete GI tract health; reduces the risk of gastric and colonic ulcers, digestive upset, and hindgut imbalances.

Neigh-Lox original formula:

Supports normal stomach pH and coats sensitive tissues to reduce the risk of gastric ulcers.

Equi-Jewel:

All-natural, high-fat stabilized rice bran when extra calories are needed.

EndurExtra:

High-fat supplement with added natural vitamin E and digestive aids to support a healthy appetite and weight gain.

Micro-Phase:

Scientifically formulated vitamin and mineral supplement for performance horses that consume an all-forage diet or those that eat plain grains or fortified concentrates at less than recommended levels.

Elevate Maintenance Powder:

Highly bioavailable natural vitamin E.

Elevate Se:

Highly bioavailable natural vitamin E with organic selenium.

Myo-Guard:

Combination of the antioxidants natural vitamin E, vitamin D, and selenium; supports healthy muscle function.

Contribute:

Complete complement of omega-3 fatty acids that support lower levels of inflammation.

For lay-up/convalescing horses with special needs:

Summer Games Electrolyte:

Electrolytes and trace minerals formulated to support electrolyte replacement and proper hydration during times of stress or hot weather; can also be used during colder months to promote water intake.

Ker-A-Form:

Coat and hoof formula designed to address brittle hooves and dry skin.

Joint Armor:

Complete joint support for horses of all ages; nourishes synovial fluid and supports cartilage regeneration.

Trouble Free:

Natural calming agent that supports good attitude in horses that are stall-bound.

 

When health issues arise, always seek the advice of a licensed veterinarian who can help you choose the correct course of action for your horse. Supplements are intended to maintain healthy systems and support recovery and healing. They are not intended to treat or cure illness or injury.

About Kentucky Performance Products, LLC: Since 1998, Kentucky Performance Products has simplified a horse owner’s search for research-proven nutritional horse supplements that meet the challenges facing modern horses. KPP horse supplements target specific nutritional needs and are formulated to complement today’s feeds, thus safeguarding against over-supplementation. Each product is scientifically formulated and made with high-quality ingredients at certified manufacturing facilities. Kentucky Performance Products is proud to offer a quality assurance promise backed by a money-back guarantee. Kentucky Performance Products brings you horse supplements you can count on because the horse that matters to you, matters to us.