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Obesity in ponies and horses - A growing concern?

Obesity is a growing concern and the leading health risk for ponies and horses.   What is obesity? When calorie intake exceeds calories burned through movement and exercise. Excess body fat can lead to further negative impacts on a pony or horse’s daily health.   Causes of obesity Over-feeding – especially those who are retired or not ridden Not knowing where the calories come from. The main source of calories in most equine diets is grass Too little exercise Improved care of grazing land Insulin resistance – which can increase blood sugar levels Over-rugging in the winter months, leading to unnatural weight maintenance rather than natural weight loss.   Typical signs of obesity Every horse and breed are different in...

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Laminitis - Think now

What is Laminitis? “Bacteria breaks down undigested material causing acidity in the hindgut, which kills the bacteria that digests fibre. As the bacteria die, they release toxins into the gut, which are then passed into the bloodstream through the gut wall. These toxins provoke a response within the horse that is thought to disrupt blood flow, which, in the feet, can cause laminitis.” The Blue Cross Blood flow to the laminae is disrupted, causing inflammation and swelling in the tissues of the hoof, usually combined with severe pain. Laminitis causes lameness, heat and pain in the hooves, with a strong digital pulse that can be felt in the arteries down the back of the fetlock and pastern. Any horse or...

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