FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions
C. Questions for the vet
1. Is it necessary to have the horse's teeth checked on a regular basis?
2. How do I prevent muscles from acidifying?
3. My horse is suffering from muscle acidification. I have been advised to feed a pure grain mix. Is this right?
4. My horse is sensitive to colics. What can I do to remedy this?
5. How do I get my horse back to its ideal weight in double-quick time after it has lost the weight due to illness for example?
6. Is there a link between the type of feed a horse is on and OCD (osteochondritis dissecans)?
7. Is it possible for my horse to develop a gastric ulcer?
C 1. Is it necessary to have the horse's teeth checked on a regular basis?
Yes, it certainly is. It may well be the case that the horse is developing so-called hooks on its teeth as a result of asymmetric abrasion of the molars as the feed is being chewed. These hooks cause the horse to gradually start chewing less thoroughly, which means that in due course the feed is inadequately ground into small chunks. As a result, the absorption of the various nutrients during the transit through the digestive system occurs to increasingly poorer effect (or not at all even). A horse with poorly looked-after teeth will have to eat considerably bigger amounts of feed to meet its requirements. Which can easily amount to 1 kg extra!
C 2. How do I prevent muscles from acidifying?
By feeding a properly balanced feed with a high fat content and the necessary vitamins (E, B1, B12) and minerals such as selenium (Se) and magnesium (Mg). Forage too has an important part to play in this. Moreover, due account has to be taken of feeding the animal the right protein/energy balance. And a further, but equally important, element in this respect is the right proportion of electrolytes (balance between sodium, potassium, magnesium and chlorine).
C 3. My horse is suffering from muscle acidification. I have been advised to feed a pure grain mix. Is this right?
The principal cause underlying any muscle problems is the oversupply of grains (especially oats and wheat) and a lack of crude fibre. For obvious reasons, you will need to adjust the ration and definitely avoid feeding a pure grain mix.
C 4. My horse is sensitive to colics. What can I do to remedy this?
Feeding the horse on Mash & Mix may help to prevent colics. Because of its specific composition, this feed infuses the intestines with sufficient moisture. This helps to avoid congestion and blockages. Combined with hay or good quality silage grass, this will significantly help to prevent the problem from arising. As a top-up of the forage ration, you can also feed carrots or fodder beet. Make sure these contain no sand grains though.
C 5. How do I get my horse back to its ideal weight in double-quick time after it has lost the weight due to
illness for example?
When a horse has lost too much weight but has been given a clean bill of health by the vet, it can be restored to its former weight on a diet of Probreed + Top-Action
and unlimited amounts of forage in just a few weeks' time. As soon as the horse is back to its normal weight, simply revert to its original ration.
C 6. Is there a link between the type of feed a horse is on and OCD (osteochondritis dissecans)?
A variety of different factors are involved in this: movement, feed and genetics. The feed does not really come into it until the horse turns 1. From that time on, the developing horse will need to grow at a steady pace, without an oversupply of proteins or starch. We provide extra oil as a source of energy, next to plenty of crude fibre in the way or roughage or forage. In the mineral department, due emphasis is placed on copper (Cu), zinc (Zn) and manganese (Mn). Also, try and prevent viral infections as these may affect the joints and bones.
C 7. Is it possible for my horse to develop a gastric ulcer?
Certainly. Gastric ulcers are quite common in horses in training. Usually the ulcerations are found in the upper section of the stomach and are caused by being exposed to gastric acid for too long. Because of the fact that sporting horses are principally given feed concentrates and not enough forage, acidity levels (pH) drop and the production of salive plummets. Saliva is a natural protective coat which lines the inside stomach whilst also serving to neutralize excess gastric acid.
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