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Avoid the Vet Part 2

In Avoid the Vet Part 1 I talked about, aside from help with reproduction, most vet visits arise from something going wrong. I outlined practical ways we try to avoid vet visits at our property by being proactive to fix things in our environment that produce injuries and illnesses. Inadequate fencing, hygiene, stopping small problems from becoming big ones, including some easy-to-use, cost-effective items you can have at-hand so you can nip drama in the bud.  

The most important way we avoid vet visits is by meeting our horse's nutritional requirements. 

Here are some diseases and syndromes that arise from mineral deficiencies: Itch, ringworm, greasy heel, stringhalt, tying-up, big-head, metabolic dysfunction, cracked/flakey/weak hooves, anemia, orthopedic disease, white muscle disease, hair loss, bone calcification, muscle spasms, cardiac arrthymias etc. etc. 

How does your vet treat these symptoms? Drugs that temporarily eliminate the symptoms.

If you meet your horse's nutritional requirements - often these problems never arise in the first place.

The Impact of Copper Deficiency

Copper is essential for the development and maintenance of a horse's connective tissues, as well as the proper function of their immune system. A deficiency in copper can lead to diseases like anaemia, and  poor wound healing. You can tell if your horse likely has a copper deficiency because they will have coat discolouration - rusty, faded, brittle hair. 

The Role of Zinc in Equine Health

Zinc plays a crucial role in maintaining a horse's immune system, digestion, and hoof health. A deficiency in zinc can result in poor appetite, slow growth, skin disorders, and compromised immune function. You can tell if your horse likely has a zinc deficiency because they will be prone to skin conditions like Itch, greasy heel, rain scald, flakey hooves, or persistent gunky eyes or runny noses. 

Iodine: Essential for Thyroid Function

Iodine is vital for the proper functioning of a horse's thyroid gland, which is responsible for regulating metabolism and overall growth. Insufficient iodine intake can lead to thyroid disorders, such as hypothyroidism, which can manifest in delayed growth, weight gain, and reduced stamina, EMS, and eventually Cushings. You can tell if your horse likely has metabolic dysfunction because they will be 'good-doers', prone to laminitis, often having fat deposits around their tail, or above the eyes, and hard crests.

All our Trace Mixes contain optimal copper, zinc and iodine.

Chia Trace Mix contains omega 3s. It helps to support gut health and neurological function. 

The Importance of Calcium and Phosphorus

Calcium and phosphorus are essential for bone development and maintenance in horses. Imbalances in their ratio can lead to skeletal abnormalities, fractures, and poor hoof quality. 

We encourage owners whose horses are on oxalate pastures to use Trace Mix with calcium. 

Note: If your horse eats large amounts (more than 2kg/day) of lucerne/alfalfa hay and/or beet pulp they are usually meeting their calcium requirements.

Maintaining Magnesium Levels for Optimal Performance

Magnesium is involved in various physiological processes, including nerve and muscle function, energy metabolism, and cardiovascular health. Low magnesium levels can result in muscle tremors, poor performance, and nervous system disorders. You can tell if your horse likely has a magnesium deficiency if they are spooky, tend to shy, girthy, 'cold-backed', short-strided, or twitchy. 

At Sound Advice, we are committed to providing you with a range of specialised supplements that are formulated to address specific mineral deficiencies and support your horse's overall health and performance.


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