Tag Archives: News

Practical Biosecurity Tips to Protect Your Horses – The Horse

Learn equine biosecurity basics for the farm, horse show, and breeding shed to protect your horses from infectious diseases.
— Read on thehorse.com/features/practical-biosecurity-tips-to-protect-your-horse/

The Weather Outside is Frightful…

I walked outside to sit on my porch and enjoy the evening, when I realized that the time is fast approaching where I can not longer do so without bundling up first.  I decided it was time to get ready for the winter months ahead especially for my equine friends.

I have included articles, lists, resources, etc to help you make sure you and your horse are ready for the dropping temperatures! 



Preparing Your Horse for Winter

Cushings Horse

By: Dr. Lydia Gray

Hot chocolate, mittens and roaring fires keep us warm on cold winter nights. But what about horses? What can you do to help them through the bitter cold, driving wind and icy snow? Below are tips to help you and your horse not only survive but thrive during yet another frosty season.

Nutrition

Your number one responsibility to your horse during winter is to make sure he receives enough quality feedstuffs to maintain his weight and enough drinkable water to maintain his hydration. Forage, or hay, should make up the largest portion of his diet, 1 – 2 % of his body weight per day. Because horses burn calories to stay warm, fortified grain can be added to the diet to keep him at a body condition score of 5 on a scale of 1 (emaciated) to 9 (obese). If your horse is an easy keeper, will not be worked hard, or should not have grain for medical reasons, then a ration balancer or complete multi-vitamin/mineral supplement is a better choice than grain. Increasing the amount of hay fed is the best way to keep weight on horses during the winter, as the fermentation process generates internal heat.

Research performed at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine showed that if during cold weather horses have only warm water available, they will drink a greater volume per day than if they have only icy cold water available. But if they have a choice between warm and icy water simultaneously, they drink almost exclusively from the icy and drink less volume than if they have only warm water available. The take home message is this: you can increase your horse’s water consumption by only providing warm water. This can be accomplished either by using any number of bucket or tank heaters or by adding hot water twice daily with feeding. Another method to encourage your horse to drink more in winter (or any time of the year) is to topdress his feed with electrolytes.

Exercise

It may be tempting to give your horse some “down-time” during winter, but studies have found that muscular strength, cardiovascular fitness and overall flexibility significantly decrease even if daily turnout is provided. And as horses grow older, it takes longer and becomes more difficult each spring to return them to their previous level of work. Unfortunately, exercising your horse when it’s cold and slippery or frozen can be challenging.

First, work with your farrier to determine if your horse has the best traction with no shoes, regular shoes, shoes with borium added, shoes with “snowball” pads, or some other arrangement. Do your best to lunge, ride or drive in outside areas that are not slippery. Indoor arenas can become quite dusty in winter so ask if a binding agent can be added to hold water and try to water (and drag) as frequently as the temperature will permit. Warm up and cool down with care. A good rule of thumb is to spend twice as much time at these aspects of the workout than you do when the weather is warm. And make sure your horse is cool and dry before turning him back outside or blanketing.

Blanketing

A frequently asked question is: does my horse need a blanket? In general, horses with an adequate hair coat, in good flesh and with access to shelter probably do not need blanketed. However, horses that have been clipped, recently transported to a cold climate, or are thin or sick may need the additional warmth and protection of outerwear.

Horses begin to grow their longer, thicker winter coats in July, shedding the shorter, thinner summer coats in October. The summer coat begins growing in January with March being prime shedding season. This cycle is based on day length—the winter coat is stimulated by decreasing daylight, the summer coat is stimulated by increasing daylight. Owners can inhibit a horse’s coat primarily through providing artificial daylight in the fall but also by clothing their horse as the temperature begins to fall. If the horse’s exercise routine in the winter causes him to sweat and the long hair hampers the drying and cooling down process, body clipping may be necessary. Blanketing is then a must.

Health

There are a number of health conditions that seem to be made worse by the winter environment. The risk of impaction colic may be decreased by stimulating your horse to drink more water either by providing warm water as the only source or feeding electrolytes. More time spent inside barns and stalls can exacerbate respiratory conditions like “heaves” (now called recurrent airway obstruction), GI conditions like ulcers, and musculoskeletal conditions like degenerative joint disease. Control these problems with appropriate management—such as increasing ventilation in the barn and increasing turnout time—and veterinary intervention in the form of medications and supplements.

Freeze/thaw cycles and muddy or wet conditions can lead to thrush in the hooves and “scratches,” or, pastern dermatitis, on the legs. Your best protection against these diseases is keeping the horse in as clean and dry surroundings as possible, picking his feet frequently, and keeping the lower limbs trimmed of hair. Another common winter skin condition is “rain rot,” caused by the organism Dermatophilus congolensis. Regular grooming and daily observation can usually prevent this problem, but consult your veterinarian if your horse’s back and rump develop painful, crusty lumps that turn into scabs.

About Dr. Lydia Gray



Winter Resources


Preparing your horse and barn for winter

Winter Horse Care Must Haves

Around the Barn Winter Prep

Winter Nutrition Tips for Horses

Penn State: Winter Care for Your Horses

Barn Tips for Winter

Horse Barn Health Checker

Cold Weather Barn Management Check List

15 Winter Tips

Guttural pouches: The hidden dangers in horses

An interesting article I came across about Guttural pouches in horses.  Must read for those who work with or around horses.

 

https://apple.news/AisI_D1YlPNetjlUilRFbaA

4 Horses Die Due to EPM Treatment

4 Horses Die After Receiving Compounded EPM Drug

Adverse events were reported in two Kentucky horses and eight Florida horses that received a pyrimethamine-toltrazuril combination.

Adverse events such as seizures, fever and death were reported in two Kentucky horses and eight Florida horses that received a pyrimethamine-toltrazuril combination. Four of the horses died or were euthanized and six horses are recovering, FDA reported.The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday issued an advisory about compounded veterinary medications after four horses being treated for equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) died.

Wickliffe Veterinary Pharmacy of Lexington, Ky., compounded two lots—one paste and one oral suspension—containing pyrimethamine and toltrazuril.

“At this time, FDA testing indicates that one lot of product contained higher levels of pyrimethamine than the labeling indicates,” the agency stated.

“All of the products in these lots are accounted for and are no longer in distribution,” FDA added.

The usual dose of pyrimethamine in horses is 1 mg/kg when combined with sulfadiazine as an FDA-approved treatment for EPM.

Toltrazuril is not approved for use in horses, the agency noted. Bayer Animal Health offers toltrazuril as the active ingredient in Baycox, an approved anticoccidial parasiticide used with poultry, piglets and cattle.

“In general, FDA has serious concerns about unapproved animal drugs, including certain compounded animal drugs,” the agency reported. “These drugs are not evaluated by FDA and may not meet FDA’s strict standards for safety and effectiveness.”

Drugs approved for the treatment of EPM, a neurological disease caused by a protozoal infection, include ponazuril, diclazuril and the pyrimethamine-sulfadiazine combination.

Wickliffe Response

Wickliffe Veterinary Pharmacy, a high-quality provider of customized medicinal solutions for veterinarians, is working cooperatively with federal health officials to learn more about the cause of the adverse events involving horses that received a compounded product from the pharmacy. We wish to extend our deepest sympathies to the owners of, and equine professionals associated with, the horses that have died or been euthanized.

The medication prepared by Wickliffe was specifically made for and dispensed to the horses for which the medication was prescribed. No other animal patients received the prescribed medication in question. The FDA has confirmed that all of the preparations are accounted for and secured. Accordingly, any risk of further adverse effects has been eliminated. There is no indication that any other products prepared by the pharmacy are unsafe in any way.

Wickliffe adheres to the highest safety and quality standards of the compounding pharmacy profession and follows all applicable state and federal guidelines. The pharmacy has a strong reputation and extensive history of providing excellent preparations to the equine industry. Wickliffe pledges its full dedication to ensuring the quality of its procedures.

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