Most horse people are familiar with the “A” word — I’m talking about arthritis — whether it appears in their horses’ joints or their own. Years of hard work (particularly in sports like eventing) will add wear and tear to the joints, but there are various ways that you can help postpone or even prevent the onset of arthritis. Low-impact exercises, good footing and cold therapy are all different methods recommended by Dr. Bryant Craig of Merck Animal Health; click here for the audio Q&A with Dr. Craig!
Want to give your horse extra bone, joint and connective tissue support? Supplements such as Flex+Max by Absorbine provide your horse with nutrients that can help maintain the integrity of these systems.
This Week in Horse Health News:
Look out for blister beetles: From skin and mouth sores to diarrhea and even death, blister beetles can cause a number of terrible problems if accidentally ingested with alfalfa. They produce cantharidin, a toxic compound that can remain in hay for at least four years. To learn more about blister beetles and the symptoms of blister beetle poisoning, check out the following article: [The Horse]
Rollkur report, behavior edition: German researchers have found that horses who are ridden with too much neck flexion (“carrying the nasal plane behind the vertical”) tend to exhibit more conflict behaviors than horses ridden with their nasal planes in front of the vertical. Additionally, the researchers observed that while around 90% of dressage horses are ridden in an over-flexed position during warm-ups than during competition, horses in higher level classes tended to display more conflict behaviors than horses in lower levels. [HorseTalk]
Improving feed safety through communication: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Partnership for Food Protection have joined forces to create the Animal Feed Network, a system for “sharing information about animal feed-related illnesses and product defects.” Click the following link to read more about the Animal Feed Network’s design and potential benefits: [Blood-Horse]
How to handle hoof puncture wounds: What would you do if you found a nail or other sharp object embedded in your horse’s hoof? The veterinarian-recommended procedure might surprise you! [The Horse]
Video of the Day: Reading about equine arthritis and other age- and exercise-related issues reminded me of a video posted on Horse Nation a while back; Earnest Woodward filmed performance horses during the rigors of their sports at high speeds, allowing viewers to see how the muscles, joints, and connective tissue work together to keep horses and riders powered up. I could watch this again and again!