I love observing the leaves changing color this time of year – though after a brief, albeit brilliant, showing of colors, the leaves all finally fall to the ground. I’m pretty laid back about having leaves sit in my yard (what, it’s recycling at it’s finest – simply run them over with a mower, and you’ve just mulched your yard). But I take leaves dropping into my pasture very seriously.
While colorful leaves scattered around a pasture might look like the fit right in with the season, I cringe when I see them. Because with the growth of the grass slowing down, ingesting fallen leaves can seem like a great idea to horses. And while equines may want to chow down on some colorful leaves, unfortunately it can lead to them compacting in their digestive system, possibly leading to colic.
A recent article over on EquiMed provides a list of suggestions to help horse owners to take steps to make their Fall pastures safe for their horses. By taking preventative steps, such as removing leaves and poisonous plants, pastures can be made safer. Which can help your horse to have a healthy autumn season. Head over to check out the article here.
And also make sure to check out some of the other highlights from this week in horse health news:
Noncribbing Cribbers have High Cortisol Levels – A recent study conducted by a team of Swiss researchers supports the claim that horses that crib should be allowed to crib. Tests show that cribbers who opted not to crib during observation had high levels of stress. [The Horse]
Effectiveness of Grazing Muzzles Studied in US – A research team from the University of Minnesota has found that the use of grazing muzzles can help reduce the grass intake of horses by an average of 30%. The observations were made during a four-hour period, and there has been no noticeable impact caused by the type of grass a horse is grazing on. [HorseTalk]
Safe Horse Handling for Vet Techs – Have you noticed that even the most quiet horses have a bad day now and again? A recent article on The Horse gives some pointers on how vet techs can handle horses to ensure successful and SAFE vet visits for all parties involved. [The Horse]
Drug Testing System Has Serious Flaws (for the Thoroughbred Industry) – According to research conducted by The Jockey Club, the current ‘state-by-state’ approach to drug testing standards has been problematic. While a number of states have embraced the National Uniform Medication Program, the uniformity does not carry over into testing, due to the contracts that states have with independent testing facilities. [Blood-Horse]
Mycotoxin Feed Contamination Appears to be on the Rise – According to specialist Professor Trevor Smith (of the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada), it appears that the frequency of mycotoxin contamination in feeds is trending upwards. Mycotoxins are produced from molds, and when ingested by horses, have the potential to cause liver damage or cancer. [HorseTalk]
In case you missed it, also check out the recent review of Absorbine’s Fungasol system of products–which can help combat equine skin funk in wet and muddy Fall conditions!