How to Care for a Rescue Horse: Australian Version by Dr. A. Nyland SMASHWORDS EDITION ***** PUBLISHED BY: Dr. A. Nyland on Smashwords Discover other titles by Dr. A. Nyland at Smashwords.com This book is available in print. How to Care for a Rescue Horse: Australian Version Copyright 2013 by Dr. A. Nyland Smashwords Edition, License Notes This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person with whom you share it. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the author's work. The following terms and conditions apply: Neither the author, publishers, agents, suppliers, nor any ancillary party, be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for damage or loss of any kind or character, including without limitation any compensatory, incidental, direct, indirect, special, punitive, or consequential damages, injury, loss of use, loss of income or profit, loss of or damage caused or alleged to be caused to property, claims of third parties, or other losses of any kind or character, arising out of or in connection with the use of this book. This book does not provide veterinary or medical advice and must not be taken to be veterinary or medical counselling, without limitation, diagnosis, prognosis, veterinary care treatment and neither the author, publishers, agents, suppliers, nor any ancillary party, make any claim or warranty of any kind, implied or express, to its accuracy, completeness. Cover. Arabian mare Seven Seas La Serenissima ("Sera"). Not the usual rescue case. Had been lying down for 3 weeks and was covered in deep ulcerated bedsores. "Before" photo is at perpetrator's place, August 31, 2011, when Sera was rescued, after intensive veterinary treatment enabling Sera to stand for travel. "After" photo taken December 31, 2011. *** CONTENTS Chapter 1. Introduction Chapter 2. Worming Chapter 3. Feeding Chapter 4. Conditions Chapter 5. Other Considerations Chapter 6. Case Histories Chapter 7. In Summary *** Chapter 1. Introduction. Rescue horses have different needs. Some may be injured, or have wounds, while others may "only" be skinny. Whatever their circumstances, rescue horses need worming and feed, and these two very things, if not carried out correctly, may harm or even kill the horse. This book also takes the reader through several case histories. *** Chapter 2. Worming. I do address this at great length in my book What to Worm Your Horse With, Made Easy, and give detailed academic references there. I do not include references in this How To book. I will however speak very briefly about the dangers of worming incorrectly and tell you what to do. The first thing to do is not to listen to Uncle Johnny or your cousin's third wife's best friend who is a Horse Expert, and also, do not consult the net. Many websites come across as authoritative, but they are misinformed. Also, many ads for dewormers make claims that are false or misleading. The use of the wrong type of a wormer in a horse which is badly infested with certain type of worm leads to a usually fatal condition known as Larval Cyathostomosis. Now please bear with me while I give you the background on this condition, as it is very important in the case of a rescue horse. The net in general, "horse experts" and even some veterinary surgeons recommend deworming based on 1960s and 1970s conditions. In those days, the dangerous horse worm was the large strongyle (Strongylus vulgaris) and so worming treatment targeted this worm. Now that we have ivermectin this worm is no longer a problem, as ivermectin kills both immature and adult stages of this worm. The large strongyle has a long PrePatent Period of at least 6 months. A Pre-Patent Period means the time between infection and the first appearance of eggs. This means that once an effective wormer is given on one occasion, a whole Pre-Patent Period needs to run its course before eggs can infect the environment. The killer worm these days is the small strongyle (cyathostome). This worm requires an entirely different type of treatment than the large strongyle. Why are they so nasty? First, let us consider what they do. As little as 6 hours after the horse eats them, they encyst in the intestinal walls. They can stay encysted anything from a few months to a few years. No deworming product except moxidectin (Equest Plus Tape) or fenbendazole (such as Panacur 100 or WSD Fenbendazole) can touch these encysted worms at all ivermectin cannot do anything to them at all; it is 100% ineffective. Deworming with a product which is not moxidectin or fenbendazole kills the non encysted small strongyles and they pass out of the horse. You may think this is good, but in fact it is dangerous if a horse has a large burden of encysted small strongyles. The reason is that the dewormer kills the non encysted worms, so the horse’s body gives the encysted ones the signal to emerge in large numbers to replace them. As they burst through the lining of the intestine, they bring with them their highly toxic accumulated waste products. The condition this causes is known as Larval Cyathostomosis and in the acute cases is usually fatal. The onset can be rapid. In milder cases, the horse will show colic, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. Larval Cyathostomosis is often misdiagnosed as gastric ulcers or as eosinophilic enteritis, or even just as “colic.” Unless vets are up with reading the latest academic veterinary articles or attending the latest veterinary conferences, they may be completely unaware of this. The bottom line is that when a horse who has a lot of encysted cyathostomes is wormed with a standard wormer (that is, a non-moxidectin or non-fenbendazole wormer), the standard wormer kills the small strongyles living in the lumen. (By the way, ivermectin is a standard wormer.) It kills the ones of course that are not encysted as it has zero power to affect the ones that are encysted. The non-encysted worms die and are passed out of the horse. If there were a lot of small strongyles in the lumen of the horse, and because they have been killed in one go, the encysted small strongyles who have been sitting inside the horse untouched by this standard wormer are given the signal to emerge en masse (bringing with them toxins) to replace the ones that the standard wormer killed. In mild cases, this will cause mild colic and /or scouring and /or weight loss, but in horses which have a high burden it will cause serious colic and/or death. When they emerge they release toxins from accumulated larval waste products, and this is the problem with these worms. Horses can die when a large number burst through the colon wall and they become sick when a small number burst through. This is known as "Larval Cyathostomosis." Again, horses recently dewormed by a wormer such as ivermectin or pyrantel which cannot harm or touch the encysted stages but which does kill the lumen-dwelling larvae and adults, are at risk of Larval Cyathostomosis. Other contributing factors include seasonal conditions (autumn and winter), young horses (often 6 years of age or younger, although older horses have died from Larval Cyathostomosis), How to prevent this with your rescue horse? Worm with moxidectin (for example Equest Plus Tape) or a 5-consecutive-day dose of fenbendazole (for example Panacur 100) at the dose rate of 10 mg/kg per day (each day over a 5 day course). If you do this, not only do you kill a large burden of non-encysted adult small strongyles killed, but you also kill a large burden of the encysted ones who were waiting to replace them. Thus your horse will not get Larval Cyathostomosis. With rescue horses, I always worm at once, then 2 weeks later worm again, then 2 weeks later, worm again. I use moxidectin or fenbendazole in each case. DO NOT UNDERDOSE. WORM IMMEDIATELY. I do NOT wait until the horse has gained weight to worm them. Caution! Horses 15 months or younger. If a young horse who has a huge burden of ascarids (roundworms) is wormed, the ascarids may cause a blockage in the gut and suffer impacted colic. This is why many veterinarians suggest to give a half dose of dewormer initially. However, this is a Catch 22, because a half dose of wormer is likely to cause encysted cyathostomes to migrate, possibly causing Larval Cyathostomosis. Impacted colic and Larval Cyathostomosis can both be fatal. If you have a young horse and have reason to suspect a heavy burden of ascarids, most parasitologists recommend to give a single dose of fenbendazole (e.g. Panacur 100) at 5 mg/kg. This is, for example, the normal label dose rate in USA but is half the label dose rate in Australia. A week later, give the 5 day course of Panacur 100 at 10 mg/kg (this is the normal Australian label dose) - do this for 5 consecutive days. If however, you get a huge amount of ascarids in the droppings, it would be sensible to give another single dose a week later of fenbendazole (Panacur 100 or WSD Fenbendazole) at 5 mg/kg and then wait a week for the 5 day dose at 10 mg/kg, and this is the dose that will deal with the encysted cyathostomes. Bear in mind you will still need to give ivermectin fairly soon to kill the migrating stages of ascarids, or moxidectin (Equest Plus Tape) if the horse is over 6 months of age. It is important to note that the reason that some veterinarians advise to give a half (or smaller) dose of wormer to an emaciated horse is FOR YOUNG HORSES ONLY, due to the danger of ascarids being impacted in the gut. Unfortunately, some recommend that a half dose be given to older horses, which not only is pointless, as older horses do develop immunity to ascarids, but is also inviting Larval Cyathostomosis. In a nutshell: 1) Fecal egg counts CANNOT tell you ANYHING about encysted cyathostomes because encysted cyathostomes DO NOT LAY EGGS. A horse can have a massive burden of these worms and return a zero fecal egg count. 2) The killer worm today is the small strongyle. Huge numbers of vets, websites, and horse owners are blissfully unaware of this scientific fact, and still worm for the regimes aimed at problem worm decades ago. 3) Encysted small strongyles cannot be affected in any way by any dewormer other than moxidectin (Equest Plus Tape) or fenbendazole (five consecutive day dose of Panacur 100 or WSD Fenbendazole). You could worm until you were blue in the face with abamectin, ivermectin, pyrantel and so on, and the encysted small strongyles would not even notice. 4) If you worm with abamectin, ivermectin, pyrantel and so on and your horse has a heavy burden of encysted small strongyles, you are risking Larval Cyathostomosis as it is a non-contentious, scientific fact that worming with one of these dewormers is the main cause of Larval Cyathostomosis. 5) The ONLY worming products that can kill stages of encysted small strongyles are moxidectin (Equest Plus Tape) or a 5 day consecutive dose of fenbendazole (Panacur 100 or WSD Fenbendazole). 6) Do NOT underdose. If your rescue horse is very debilitated, you may feel more comfortable giving Panacur 100 (or WSD Fenbendazole). I myself have always given Equest Plus Tape with no problems. Be careful in foals however. Different countries have different recommendations for the age a foal can be given moxidectin. Use Panacur 100 (or WSD Fenbendazole) in the case of younger foals. Also be careful with miniature horses. You need to get the dosage right. If you google, you will find good horse weight calculators. Here is a link to one: http://www.gaitedhorses.net/Articles/horseweight.html Bear in mind this was an overview, and for full information, please read my book What to Worm Your Horse With, Made Easy. *** Chapter 3. Feeding. It is very important to introduce large amounts of feed slowly, and to feed smaller feeds often. A horse should not go without food for more than six hours, given the way their digestive systems are designed. This is particularly important in the case of a rescue horse. Be very careful with changes in feed. Increase feed slowly. Make changes to feed slowly. This is important with all horses, but particularly the case in rescue horses. It is even more important in the case of a heavily pregnant mare, as they are quite prone to colic. This applies to hay and grass too. Do not let a rescue horse onto a lush green paddock. Introduce such a feeding scenario slowly. The microbes in the horse's gut are adapted to the horse's usual diet. If suddenly the horse eats something vastly different, different types of microbes rapidly appear and the old ones die. This can lead to diarrhea and to colic. Common sense. A rescue horse may not be eating their feed. If this is the case, SYRINGE all supplements down the horse's neck. Do NOT put the supplements in the feed if the horse is not cleaning up their feed. Do not use the type of syringe used for injecting. Instead, get one of those paste tubes of electrolytes or Vitamin B. Give it to the horse, then clean out the tube. These tubes of paste are ideal for syringing stuff over the horse's tongue and can be used over and over again. Yes, your horse may not generally like having stuff syringed over the tongue, but these things taste yummy and nothing like wormers, so they will soon be keen and even open their mouth at the sight of a syringe. Feed leftovers. If the horse has leftovers in the feed bin by the next meal, THROW THEM OUT!! Yes I know feed is expensive but so is a vet bill from eating old rotting feed full of bacteria. The horse will not eat horrible stale feed anyway, so throw it out! Hydration. Sports drinks - Gatorade, PowerAde, and so on - are very important in the case of a rescue horse. Why not powder? Because giving electrolytes in water is far more effective for hydration, and sports drinks often have added extra goodies. Some horses prefer one flavor over the other. My rescued mare Sera (see later in the book) loved Blackcurrant PowerAde and it took her a few months to like the blue one. (Why did I buy the blue one when she didn't like it? It was cheaper to buy in a multi-colored six pack!) Again, if the horse is not cleaning up the feed, syringe half a bottle at a time over the horse's tongue. It will take you a while, but it's worth it. Horses love sports drinks. Even if a horse does not initially like the look of a paste tube, the horse will soon be chasing you for the paste tube when he or she is used to the taste that comes in it. If you have an Insulin Resistant (IR/EMS) horse, do not give sports drinks because you want to avoid the sugar in this case. Give simple electrolyte powder mixed with water. I also recommend vitamin and electrolyte pastes which are freely available from a variety of manufacturers. If the horse is off their feed, keep giving vitamin and electrolyte pastes. Supplements. Of course, as I produce Seras Fix supplements, I recommend those! They are to found here: http://www.serasfix.com.au. I believe every horse needs Essentials, and I have developed an Essentials called Rescue Horse Essentials especially for Rescue Horses, as the name suggests. I also recommend Digest Elite, one of the ingredients of which is Yea-Sacc. Again, syringe over the tongue if the horse is not cleaning up the feed. Yea-Sacc is highly beneficial. In case you want to know, Yea-Sacc is a live yeast culture based on Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Yea-Sacc improves the digestion of fiber and ensures healthy fermentation of feed. It goes a long way to helping the horse avoid digestive upset. Vitamin B. I am heavy handed with giving Vitamin B Complex to rescue horses, and I am convinced it is partly responsible for the wonderful results I have had with rescue horses for many years. Buy it in a tube (there are many B Complex pastes for horses on the market) and syringe it over the horse's tongue - weekly, or twice a week to start with in bad cases. It also stimulates the appetite. When the horse starts eating well, you can leave off the pastes and start the horse on daily brewer's yeast or even buy Vitamin B complex tablets for humans and drop them in their feed. Many horses love the taste of these and will take them from your hand. I am huge fan of giving Vitamin B. Vitamin E. This is often cheaper (and it is far better!) to buy in the form of gel capsules for humans. Always buy the Natural form and give 2,000 iu per day for the first few weeks, then drop to 1,000 iu for maintenance. (If you can only get the Artificial type, double the dose.) If the horse is not yet cleaning up the feed, cut the capsule in half and squeeze the oil in with the sports drink then syringe over the tongue. Once the horse is cleaning up the feed, just throw in the capsules and stir, and the horse will readily eat them. Vitamin A. Very important for the rescue horse, and easily provided by feeding a few carrots a day. Make sure you slice them lengthwise so that the horse will not choke. Do NOT give carrots to horses who are DSLD/EPSA, IR/EMS, or overweight. By the way, carrots are sure not a natural wormer nor do they have any effect whatsoever on arthritis. What to feed? I have found that rescue horses do exceptionally well on pellets - pelletized feed, and/or extruded feed. I strongly prefer not to give the muesli type feeds until the horse is back to normal weight. However, my favorite feed for rescue horses is beet. I run the horse rescue charity Morrigan Horse Rescue and Rehab Inc., and every single horse here is on beet. Feeding Fat. There is huge controversy about feeding fat to horses. I myself have found the feed product Equi-Jewel good in the rescue horse. Some recommend Rice Bran Oil, at around 110 - 120 grams a day, or even a bit more, a day but see my caution following. It is important to remember that horses were not made to eat a lot of fat. If you are feeding large amounts of fat, you need to increase the protein, and make sure that the horse is eating plenty of hay/and or grass. You do not want the horse eating fat at the expense of hay or grass. There are many popular forms of fat pushed by clever and aggressive marketing to the horse owning public. Some of these include fish oils. To that I say, horses are not carnivores. I myself do not feed fish oil to horses. I get the Omegas 3s and 6s in the correct ratio into horses by feeding flax seed (linseed). Some fish oils on the market are far too high in Omega 6s. Ground linseed. (Linseed, flax, and flaxseed -same thing, different names.) Linseed has many benefits, not least being that it is a rich source of Omega 3s, and has Omega 3 and Omega 6 in the correct ratio for horses. Omega 3 and Omega-6 cannot be manufactured by the horse. Horses who are not on grass do need linseed in their diet. Linseed is of considerable help in respiratory disease, skin conditions, and arthritis. Basically, the three types of EFAs (essential fatty acids) of Omega 3 are ALA, EPA, and DHA. Grass (plants in general) are high in ALA but do not have EPA or DHA. On the other hand, fish oils are high in EPA and DHA (as the fish eat plants and then convert the ALA to EPA and DHA). If you read what companies which sell fish oil for horses say, they will sound convincing but do not mention that the fish oils have had to be heavily processed before they can be fed to horses. Why bother when linseed has around the same profile of omega 3s and 6s and is plant and not animal matter? It's not a good idea to be putting the wrong levels of omega 6s into your horse. But how do we feed linseed? Okay, back to the nonsense found on the net. There is scaremongering on the net that there is cyanide in linseed seed. Yes there is a tiny amount, and there also is in cashews and almonds. The FDA stated that there was no concern that there would be “any more exposure to hydrogen cyanide than from other foods such as lima beans, fava beans, chickpeas, cassava, yams, cashews or almonds.” There has been no reported case of a horse suffering linseed toxicity. The Omega 3s in linseed oil are highly unstable so your best bet is to grind the linseed. If you use a home coffee grinder you will be there all day, so use a blender with stainless steel blades. This will do the job quickly. For horses with skin problems, arthritis, or Itch, give 1 g/kg per day. This works out to 450 grams in a 450 kg horse. Otherwise, you can feed a far smaller amount with good results. Grass provides lots of Omega 3s but hay does not. I give ground linseed to any horse who is not eating grass. Linseed and chia have a very similar profile, but chia does not need to be ground. However, it is more expensive, and does not have quite as much Omega 3 as flax. Generally, the Omega 3s in linseed are 4 times more than Omega 6s. (Chia has just over 3 times.) This is ideal for horses. On the other hand, sunflower seeds are way too high in Omega 6. They have well over 300 more times Omega 6s than Omega 3s (and this is very bad for horses). Let us look at some oils. Olive oil has around 13 times more Omega 6s than 3s (bad) and Safflower oil doesn't even have any Omega 3s (bad). Think of this way: Omega 3s are anti inflammatory, and Omega 6 are pro inflammatory. Most horse feeds today are very high in omega 6s, so it's no wonder that recent years have seen an increase of all sorts of horse health problems. Again, linseed is optimally balanced for Omega 3 and Omega 6 for the horse. If you are feeding rice bran or sunflower seeds, or a pre-mix feed which contains these, it is even more important to feed linseed, as sunflower seeds and rice bran have very little if any Omega 3 and are very high only in Omega 6. Omega 6 is pro-inflammatory, so you need to get the good Omega 3 which is in linseed into the horse if you are feeding these feeds. Other feeds which have very little if any Omega 3 (remember, you need Omega 3) are cottonseed meal, peanut meal, and safflower meal. Rice bran oil is very low in Omega 3s. Again be cautious of oils - horses have not evolved to eat fat or oils, and their Omega 3 requirements are met by grass or ground linseed. Oils are usually highly processed with the use of chemicals. Bran. Rescue horses often have a suppressed appetite, but will find a warm bran mash very appetising. Put Prydes steam-extruded full fat soybean meal (Prydes Protein Pak) and ground flax/linseed in the mash. Stir, and make sure the mash is wet. Wet mashes soon expand, so let it stand for three minutes then add more water if necessary. It should be a wet slop. I recommend Prydes full fat soybean meal as it is steam extracted. On the other hand, chemically extracted full fat soybean meal uses the chemical hexane, which was featured in the based-on-true-life film Erin Brokovitch. Steam extraction does not do this. Also, steam destroys trypsin inhibitors in soy and this is a good thing. Pollard. There is a bizarre, and need I say, unfounded, myth that pollard lays deposits of fat around the heart or the other organs. Nonsense! Some of the people who claim this actually feed their horses genuinely high fat feeds at any rate. It makes no sense. Rice bran has a far higher fat content than wheat pollard. Like bran, pollard is a by product of milling the grain. Bran is the coat of the seed, and pollard is the bit between the bran (outer coat) and the seed itself. Wheat pollard generally has an average of 7% crude fiber and 15% protein. Bran generally has an average of 9% crude fiber and 17% protein. Pollard has an average of around 5.7% fat while bran has an average of 4.5% fat. Rice bran sits around 15% to 20% fat. Like wheat bran, pollard is much higher in phosphorus than calcium. Rice bran. Rice bran, being so high in fat, is low GI and so can be fed in small amounts to rescue horses who are laminitic, DSLD/EPSA, or IR/EMS. Soy Hulls. I prefer beet to soy hulls for rescue horses, unless they are IR/EMS horses who are overweight and / or laminitic, and then these are ideal. Beet pulp. Excellent stuff. Make sure you read the soaking directions and follow them carefully. Rescue horses will often refuse this at first, so I do not feed it at the normally recommended rates for the first few weeks. It also works as a prebiotic, so it is a good idea to get some into the horse. When the horse is happily eating bran mash, start sneaking in some beet pulp. One thing to watch with beet pulp - if it is a variety which has added molasses, rinse it thoroughly before soaking. Rinse until it runs clear. Rugs. Thin horses are colder than well cared for horses, so in cold weather make sure your rescue horse is appropriately rugged. Obviously, do not leave a rug on too long without checking, as rescue horses will rub very easily. Protein. Horses with wounds need more protein than other horses. Even if your rescue horse is not wounded, your horse will still need protein. Do not believe anyone who tells you that grass is always high in lysine. Ask them to show you a specific scientific study. People say that horses evolved on grass, but they did not evolve on tropical grasses or the grasses that have been developed for dairy cattle. Studies in fact show that tropical grasses, for example, are low in lysine. This is the essential amino acid needed for growth. Full fat soybean meal has all the essential amino acids. It is high in lysine. The essential amino acid tyrosine (also in full fat soybean meal) is needed for good black coat color in the horse. If your black horse is washed out, so-called "sunbleached," or brown - and this would be the vase with a rescue horse - give full fat soybean meal and make sure your supplement is correctly balanced for copper and zinc in the diet. I always supplement my horses from birth with full feed soybean meal to ensure they receive their essential amino acids. Again, make sure the full fat soybean meal is steam extracted - NOT chemically extracted. Amount of hard feed (that is, non-grass, non-hay) to feed. Many people get a rescue horse, and then feed the horse a large bucketful of hard feed each feed in an attempt to get weight on the horse quickly. This does not work. It has never taken me more than ten days, yes, that's ten days, to get a considerable amount of weight on an emaciated horse, providing of course the horse was not injured or had other health issues. I have had, without exception, ribs covered in ten days, even in the case of horses who have been underfed and neglected for years. The main thing is to feed a LOT of good quality hay and/or grass, and keep your hard feeds small. I myself do not add chaff to the feed mix. I keep my hard feeds to a maximum of 1.5 kg per feed, and feed as much hay and grass as the horse can eat. If feeding solely a pelleted horse feed, to give you a rough idea, I would feed no more than just over half a 12 litre bucket per feed. This keeps the fiber fermentation going along nicely. Build up to this amount slowly. Again, build up the hay and the grass; the horse needs to be started on it slowly with gradually increasingly amounts. If you are feeding a lot of lucerne hay or other calcium grasses, your bran mash as a source of phosphorus then becomes more important. If the horse is grazing on kikuyu grass or other high oxalate grasses, then it is very important to feed this rescue horse free choice lucerne hay and also add calcium to the diet. Once the horse has put on weight and is looking respectable, you can move to a mixture of beet pulp and oats or just add oats to the diet. Oats are a good feed, despite what some feed companies may try to tell you. Just be careful not to feed too much, as too much grain will have an adverse effect on hind gut fermentation. Feed them whole. If you do not take my advice which is to feed beet, then I recommend giving a little bran mash first before the feed, and adding the goodies to it. (Remember, if the horse will not eat every last bit of the bran mash, syringe the supplements over the horse's tongue.) As I said before, make this a very wet sloppy feed. It should be very sloppy and not hold its shape. After the horse has finished the bran mash, then give the hard feed. Do NOT mix the bran mash with feed. Only give one or two small bran mashes per day. Cleanliness. Rinse out all buckets and feed containers after each feed. At the very least, a fussy eater will be put off by the smell of stale feed. Stale feed is a source of bacteria, so make sure the buckets are very clean - a wash of diluted white vinegar is ideal. Salt. Make sure the rescue horse can gain free access to salt. It is safe to provide free access to salt for your horse as it is the one mineral that horses will actively seek out. Extra sodium is easily excreted in the urine so it is quite safe to leave out amounts of salt free choice. In hot weather, it is safer to add a tablespoon of salt a day to the horse's feed. Do not put out mineral bricks or the pink (Himalayan) salt licks as these are typically high in iron (bad). Aged horses. There are many good premixed feeds out there specifically for the aged horse. They are also easier to chew. However, I have several horses over the age of 22 y.o here at Morrigan Horse Rescue and Rehab and they are all mud fat on beet and oats (plus bran, Prydes steamextracted full fat soybean meal, ground flax, and ad. lib. lucerne hay, plus their Seras Fix supplements). Probiotics are particularly important for the aged horse so here they get Digest Elite as well. Obviously, dental care is very important as well. Broodmares. Do you know the one statement that makes me hopping mad? When someone speaking of their ribby broodmare says, "She's putting everything into the foal." The reason a broodmare is ribby is that she is NOT GETTING ENOUGH TO EAT! If she is putting everything into the foal, then feed her more (or better)! It's not rocket science. There is NO excuse for ribs on a broodmare. Now, if you have rescued a mare with a foal at foot, you are starting behind, as lactation is largely dependent on the last three months of pregnancy. What can you do? Feed, feed, feed. Unless you have abundant, excellent and non oxalate (oxalates being tropical grasses such as kikuyu) grass, then oats are fantastic in this situation. I myself suggest feeding beet with oats, but there are many specialist broodmare premix feeds on the market. Feeding free choice lucerne hay is excellent and will help keep up the calcium requirements. If feeding large amounts of lucerne, feed bran as well for phosphorus. Do everything else I say in this book. Make sure you feed steam extracted full fat soybean meal as the lysine is necessary for growth. Feed 450 grams of Prydes (or a genuinely steam extracted product) full fat soybean meal a day to a broodmare. Feed a pregnant mare in the last 3 months heavily as well. There is no excuse for ribs on a broodmare, even a Thoroughbred broodmare. The following photos of two of my mares show the ideal condition for a foaling mare. The below is Quarab mare Aloha Arctic Gold with her 20 minute old foal Hyksos Good As Gold. The below is 23 y.o. Arabian mare Wincar Nartal with her foal Hyksos Leto. Garlic. Do NOT feed garlic, as it causes Heinz Body Anaemia in horses. One study found that garlic was toxic to horses in an amount as small as 100 grams (3 ½ ounces), but the study also showed that garlic may have been toxic in much smaller amounts if fed daily. Fact: Garlic causes Heinz Body Anemia in horses. There is great deal of incorrect information on the net about feeding garlic to horses plus wildly incorrect reporting on studies which have been done. I give detailed references to the studies on this, and also correct the misinformation, in my book Natural Horse Care the Right Way. Sulfur. Sulfur deficiency has never been found in horses. High levels of (yellow) sulfur depress copper absorption. Sulfur also interferes with the assimilation of selenium. Apple Cider Vinegar Is Apple Cider Vinegar of any value? If you believe it has value, then by all means, feed it! However, please do not feed it just because you think it is high in potassium (it is not) or cures arthritis (NO evidence this is myth!) or has other qualities which it does not have. I am not saying not to feed it; I am saying be aware what it does not have (or do) in case you are feeding it for the wrong reasons. Clearly the ACV with the "mother" in it is by far the best. Many thousands of web pages glowingly testify to the alleged curative powers of Apple Cider Vinegar. Here are some the facts as set out in my book Natural Horse Care The Right Way. Myth. Hippocrates used apple cider vinegar. Facts. I can safely say this is not the case. Hippocrates did use vinegar a lot, and wine – he also advocated drilling holes in someone’s head if they fell off a horse – but he never once mentions Apple Cider Vinegar. In fact, he often says the vinegar must be white vinegar. Hippocrates also suggested treating new wounds by washing them with wine, then applying vinegar, then dusting on fine lead powder ground up with copper oxide. Yikes! Another method of his was to boil bits of nettle tree in white vinegar, adding olive paste and the watery bits of unboiled wood tar, then putting it on the wound with a bandage over the top. Myth. Hippocrates first used it in 4,000 BC and it was the first man made medicine. (These bizarre claims about Apple Cider Vinegar appear in a published book.) Facts. Hippocrates was born around 460 BC, forget the extra “0” in the book which has him some 3,500 years earlier. No one, of course, knows what the first human-made medicine was, but Hippocrates certainly wasn’t associated with it, as whole civilizations which had doctors lived for centuries before him. Myth. The Babylonians used Apple Cider Vinegar. Facts. No evidence. They used vinegar. It is simply a by-product of making wine. One popular website on Apple Cider Vinegar even confuses Babylonians with Sumerians. Lucky they are not around these days to be offended! Myth. Apple Cider Vinegar contains pectin. Facts. No, sorry, it doesn’t contain any measurable amount. Myth. Apple Cider Vinegar is good source of potassium. Facts. No it is not. At any rate a horse needs only 23 grams of potassium per day, (National Research Council Nutrient Requirements of Horses, 6th. Ed., 2007) and this is not much at all; this amount is found in 1/6 of a baked potato. To put this in terms of the general kitchen, there is far more potassium in a baked potato than in a cup of apple cider vinegar. Remember, a horse requires 23 grams of potassium a day. Here are some common horse feedstuffs and the amounts you need to feed your horses to provide them with the daily requirement of potassium. Grass Hay (1.894 percent = 18.94 g/kg) Approx. 1.2 kg (2.6 lbs) grass hay gives 23 grams potassium. Pasture (1.991 percent = 19.91 g/kg) Approx. 1.2 kg (2.6 lbs) pasture gives 23 grams potassium. Legume Hay (2.405 percent = 24.05 g/kg) Approx. 0.9 kg (1.9 lbs) legume hay gives 23 grams potassium. Peavine Hay (1.898 percent = 18.98 g/kg) Approx. 1.2 kg (2.6 lbs) peavine hay gives 23 grams potassium. Lucerne cubes (2.298 percent = 22.98 g/kg) Approx. 1.0 kg (2.2 lbs) lucerne cubes gives 23 grams potassium. Oats (0.556 percent = 5.56 g/kg) Approx. 4.1 kg (9.0 lbs) oats gives 23 grams potassium. Wheat Bran (1.219 percent = 12.19 g/kg) Approx. 1.8 kg (3.9 lbs) wheat bran gives 23 grams potassium. Rice Bran (1.462 percent = 14.62 g/kg) Approx. 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) rice bran gives 23 grams potassium. You can see that a horse barely has to eat any grass or hay at all to fulfil their potassium requirements. And remember, more is not better. Look at the following analysis taken from the USDA results for Nutrients in Apple Cider Vinegar. (USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 21, 2008.) Note in particular all the zeros! Apple Cider Vinegar has zero Vitamin C, thiamine, vitamin B6, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, folate, Vitamin B12, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, lycopene, theobromine, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein or zeaxanthin, Tryptophan, Threonine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine or Methionine. Iron - VERY bad for horses. Yes, people do need iron. Horses do not need iron. Bear in mind that chocolate is not toxic to humans but is toxic to dogs. What works for one species doesn't always work for another. Horses cannot easily get rid of iron from their systems. (That's why bleeding works for racehorse trainers - they are getting the iron out.) Be aware that there is NO, not one, ever, report of diet-related iron deficiency in the adult horse. Unfortunately, many veterinary surgeons who are unaware of more recent research will be unaware of this. Vets and scientists even used to think that horse's livers were meant to be black, before it was discovered that black livers were caused by iron overload. NEVER feed an iron supplement to your horse. Horses cannot easily secrete iron. Excess iron interferes with the absorption of zinc, predisposes the horse to infection, predisposes the horse to arthritis and Itch, even DSLD/ ESPA, increases the risk of tendon and ligament problems, increases the risk of liver disease, and alters the metabolism of glucose. If iron is too high in the diet, then copper and zinc will be low. The iron:copper:zinc ratio has to be within a certain range, and iron commonly far unbalances the copper and zinc ratios. If a horse has iron overload, the coat will be faded, and/or reddish in the case of a dark horse. The mane may look sunburned, faded and have a bleached look and sometimes frizzy (and bleached looking) ends. What we know as "sunbleaching" is actually caused by a lack of copper and / or zinc. With bays, a lighter reddish or faded bay is likely to have iron overload – a darker coat color is good, a faded color is not. It is harder to tell with chestnuts and grays, but again, the coat has a faded, washed out or just-clipped look. When the horse is not ironoverloaded, the color is bright, even in grays, and the black parts of the coat will be pronounced. Some red bay or brown horses are actually black (or dark black/brown) but have iron overload. There can be a most dramatic color change when copper and zinc are correctly balanced in the diet to the iron. The Seras Fix mineral supplement Essentials will address this problem. The photo following, left side, is the rescue horse "Grace" the day she arrived at Morrigan Horse Rescue and Rehab. She had been rescued by others and she had already put on considerable weight by the time she arrived here. Look at the difference in her in short time after being put on Essentials. Yearling Thoroughbred filly, well cared for, rugged, and in good condition. Before starting on correct supplement. I hope you can see the difference despite the photos not being in colour. Only 3 weeks later. If someone tells you a horse's blood results indicate iron deficiency, look at the MCHC (mean cell hemoglobin concentration). Is this within the normal range at all? If so, the horse is not iron deficient. As I said, there has never been a case of diet related iron deficiency in an adult horse. What causes anemia in the horse? Inadequate zinc and / or copper. This is very commonly misdiagnosed as an iron deficiency. A lack of zinc and / or copper then causes less haemoglobin in the blood. Hay. Horse owners often treat hay as just filler, roughage, but it is far more than that, and is essential to the digestive tract health of the horse. Hay has a relaxing effect on the stomach. This is the reason many horses will refuse grain and instead eat hay after a hard workout. The Bottom Line on Feeding. DO NOT. Do NOT feed garlic. Do NOT feed iron. Do NOT feed yellow sulfur. Do NOT believe the advertising on all horse feeds or oils. Do NOT feed a large amount of concentrates or premixed feed in the one feed. This is IMPORTANT!! DO. DO increase feed amounts slowly. Start feeding small amounts of feed several times a day but DO build up to free choice grass or free choice hay or a combination of free choice grass and hay. Do feed salt. Do WET all feed. Dampen a little in the case of pellets (but don't dissolve them into mush!), and feed bran mash as a very wet slop. Do feed steam extracted full fat soybean meal for the essential amino acids and protein. Do feed linseed. You will need to grind it in a blender (far more efficient and time saving than a coffee grinder). Do NOT boil it as this kills the Omega 3s. How do I get my horse to eat? Rescue horses usually have depressed appetite, and the same goes for sick horses. Do not give up after a few days! I have lost count of the horses who have arrived here refusing to eat anything but hay or refusing to eat wet feed. Now they all eat a speedibeet slop. Here are some tips: 1) If the horse will not eat hard feed, offer a small amount once a day. If the horse is eating hay, pull some hay apart and mix a SMALL amount of hard feed through the hay. Keep doing this until the horse will eat it all, then increase this to twice a day, still keeping the amounts small. 2) When the horse will eat that, offer the feed (still a small amount) without the hay. If the horse does not clean this up, skip the hard feed for one feed (i.e. only give it once a day). 3) When the horse is eating hard feed twice a day, mix up a little beet - a tiny amount - and soak it by itself. When it is soaked (you do not want it too wet), mix this TINY amount of beet through the feed. 4) Make increases slowly, and always remove ALL feed from the previous meal. Do NOT be tempted to leave it. 4) Putting the rescue horse in with another horse is a good way to make the rescue horse clean up the feed, but wait until the horse is eating dry hard feed twice a day. 5) Read the rest of this book for other tips. My own experience. People often ask me what I feed the rescue horses. I feed ad.lib. lucerne /grass mix hay or just straight lucerne, Speedibeet, wheat bran, Prydes steam extracted full fat soybean meal, salt, Digest Elite, and various Seras Fix supplements. *** Chapter 4. Conditions. Laminitis. Call a good rehabilitation trimmer without delay. Here is an excellent site where there is a drop-down box for you to select your country and state, then it brings up a list of hoof care providers. www.easycareinc.com/Search/Practitioner.aspx I also highly recommend the Chinese herb Jiaogulan. Trials have been done on this herb's efficacy in laminitic horses. Here is an excellent site detailing the trials that Dr. Kellon, a leading equine nutritionist, did on Jiaogulan with laminitic horses. Although the trails were conducted in 2006, the information on this page is most useful and valid: http://www.naturalhorsetrim.com/Jiaogulan.htm I myself used Jiaogulan with great success in my rescue horse Sera. She had a badly rotated coffin bone / pedal bone (same thing - called different names in different countries) penetrating the sole, but had remarkably rapid hoof growth on Jiaogulan. Since then, I have rehabbed many a laminitic rescue horse with correct trim, jioagulan, and correct diet. If your horse has dietary related laminitis, make sure you also have your horse on the correct feed. Beet (UNmolassed!) and soy hulls are good, and so is Prydes Easi Sport. Keep the horse well away from grass. Be careful as some feeds are marketed for laminitic horses but are not in fact suitable. Avoid white (wheaten or oaten) chaff as it is high in sugars. Lucerne and lucerne/grass are ideal hays. By the way, copra is low GI but is very poor quality protein. It is highly important not to starve a horse with laminitis. Do not restrict their feed, just give the correct type of feed. Obviously, you need to remove or restrict grass, but the horse must be eating. People often give bute, but you need to get the laminitis under control with correct trim, correct feed, and jioagulan. Besides, some studies have shown that bute makes laminitis worse, and you cannot give bute when giving jioagulan. Jioagulan will bring out any brewing abscesses, so the horse may seem worse for the first week or so. Cushing's. Below is a 15 y.o. horse I rescued. This horse had Cushing's. Not all Cushing's horses have symptoms as obvious as this. If you rescue a horse with Cushing's, the very best thing to do is to go to this website and join the Equine Cushing’s and Insulin Resistance Group: www.pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/EquineCushings You will find the Emergency Diet in the File Section. You need to start the horse on this immediately. The same goes for Insulin Resistant horses. There is a wealth of information on this site and it is run by Dr. Eleanor Kellon. When you join, select the "Read on Internet" option and do not select individual messages or the Daily Digest, as there are over 10,000 members and you will be inundated with emails. You will find the File Section invaluable. Here is the website matching the just-mentioned group: http://www.ecirhorse.com The following is the horse 10 weeks later. Itch. I have all the information you need on Itch here at http://www.the itchinhorsesaustralia.com.au *** Chapter 5. Other Considerations. Quarantine. Make sure you quarantine any new horse for three weeks after arrival. This means keeping your horse well away from other horses. Obviously, the rescue horse and any other horses should not be able to reach each other over the fence. There needs to be a corridor between the new horse and other horses. The incubation period of strangles for example is one to three weeks. Make sure you do not use the same feed bins, and do not go from the quarantined horse to another horse. Attend to the quarantined horse last, and make sure you wash your hands. Disinfect your boots. It pays to be careful! You will need to tell visitors they are not allowed to go near the rescue horse or walk through their paddock or yard. I have found that many even experienced horse people will disregard this, so again, it pays to be super careful. Dental. Yes, you will need to get a horse dentist to attend to the horse at some point. Ask around for someone who is kind to the horse and comes well recommended. Personality. It is often the case that a rescue horse will seem to go through a personality change about six weeks after rescue. Be prepared for the horse to feel well and perhaps get up to all kinds of tricks. The most mild mannered rescue horse could become a nightmare down the track with other horses at feed time and may turn into a kicking monster. Just be prepared. Humans. It's a good idea to inform the local animal welfare body that you have just rescued a horse. Inform neighbors as well. If you do not intend to get a veterinary surgeon to check the horse, it's a good idea at the very least to inform her or him that you have the horse. The Unhandled Horse. Some rescue horses are completely unhandled, and have suffered very serious stress from being chased through sale yards and possibly beaten as well. How would you feel if another species captured you and terrified you, and perhaps chased you and beat you? Horses are not mind readers so do not know that you intend them no harm. You need to develop a relationship with the rescue horse and this could take time. Do not rush anything. Often standing still, offering hay handful by handful, is the best way to make friends. Make very sure you avoid doing anything to scare the horse further. Is the halter half off? Let it stay that way for now! Is the mane horribly tangled? Leave it alone! Your priority at this stage is NOT to frighten the horse. Mental welfare before cosmetic appearance! Mental welfare before what your friends think! *** Chapter 6. Case Histories. Case 1. 20 y.o. Pure Arabian mare in foal. Notice "Big Head" from lack of calcium. 3 months later. Case 2. Pure Arabian filly 22 months old. Exactly 10 days later. 3 months later Case 3. Pure Arabian mare. This 4 y.o. mare was so weak that she lay down most of the day. She had never received good nutrition. Although hard to see in photos, her coat was very sparse and all her hair stood up on end. She had many patches of missing hair. 6 weeks later. Case 4. Yearling cremello filly. 8 weeks later. Case 5. 22 y.o. Mare. Look closely at the hip bones on this horse. The below is ten days later. Case 6. Stallion. This is an Arabian stallion, and you can see the effects of Big Head if you look closely at his head. Before. After. Case 7. The following is the worst rescue case I have ever had. These images are distressing, but bear in mind that this horse is now fat and well. I will be publishing this horse's story. Watch for it! "Sera," a pure Arabian mare, was left to die after a fence injury to the back leg. As the leg was not treated properly, she developed a massive infection leading to supporting leg laminitis in the other hind leg. The coffin bone / pedal bone rotated and protruded through the sole. She thus had a gaping hole in her foot. She was also covered in enormous ulcerated bedsores as she had been lying down for three weeks in the perpetrator's back yard. However, she is now well and fat. This just shows that a horse can be brought back from the brink of death. Below. Day of rescue. August 31, 2011. Below. Note that the offside hoof is perpendicular to the ground. The other foot was badly laminitic - supporting leg lameness from the massive infection caused by the injury to the offside foot which was not properly cared for. After rescue, this mare was treated very frequently by rehabilitation trimmer Rob Howden of Balanced Equine Hoofcare. I also had her on Jiaogulan. Her feet are now normal and she is happily galloping around her paddock with her friends. Following: 6 weeks after rescue - after 6 weeks of intensive nursing. This horse had been at death's door and covered in enormous ulcerated bedsores with her actual hipbones protruding through the open wounds. The nearside exposed hipbone had a necrotic edge and veterinary surgeons feared that she would develop osteomyelitis and that bone scraping surgeries would be unsuccessful. Thankfully, she did not need surgeries. Below. January 17, 2012. The offside hip bedsore has healed and new hair is growing through the now-healed black skin which is visible. (Arabians have black skin.) *** Chapter 7. In Summary. WORM. Worm with Equest Plus Tape or Panacur 100 (or WSD Fenbendazole) at the correct dosage rate mentioned in this book. Repeat 2 weeks later. Then repeat 2 weeks later. ***CAUTION - go back and read notes if horse is under 15 months of age. Then go onto the normal worming program as set out in my book What to Worm Your Horse With, Made Easy. FEED. Do NOT increase the feed quickly. Do NOT change the feed suddenly. Build up to free choice grass and/or free choice hay. If the horse is not cleaning up the feed, syringe supplements over the tongue. DO clean out feed bins after every meal to get rid of bacteria. FEET. Get a good hoof care practitioner to attend to the feet. OTHER. Dental. Notify the local Animal Welfare body that you have rescued the horse. Contact your veterinarian. Ignore the local "Horse Expert" and most of the stuff on the net. *** Review request. If you found this book useful, I'd be very grateful if you would leave a positive review at your place of purchase. Your support really does make a difference. Be notified of up coming releases. Join my rescue charity Facebook group to enter competitions and win books, and be notified of upcoming releases. http://www.morriganhorserescueandrehab.com See also: http://www.theitchinhorsesaustralia.com.au http://www.serasfix.com *** You may like other books by Dr. A. Nyland! Dr. Nyland is also the author of: What to Worm Your Horse With, Made Easy. What others are saying about What to Worm Your Horse With, Made Easy. This one will save your horse's life. Of all the equine related books available on every possible subject, as far as I am concerned, none are more important than one that will save your horse's life. All supported by scientific research and end notes. So many equine books are nothing but someone's opinion, not supported by research or facts. This one is! Worms kill horses and the traditional means of deworming is not working. She talks about all the myths with deworming.... using quest with foals and horses, when to deworm depending on your climate and location, the myth about fecal counts being a good way to know whether horses have worms (wrong!), the myth about copper and many of the natural/herbal dewormers that not only don't work but some are toxic, rotation makes worms immune to the dewormers. Horses still die and they have been on regular schedules of dewormer.... you know the vet always asks, 'has this horse been wormed recently?' The answer is always yes by good horse owners and they had zero worm count in fecals, the horse dies and the autopsy's shows the horse is full of worms. If you have a horse, if you are thinking of getting a horse, then you need to read this book and get smart on this killer. Horses are dying right now as we speak because of ignorance and because horse owners are listening to ill advised people on how to deworm their horse. The horses suffer because of our ignorance. Pick up this book and read it for your horse, you'll be amazed what you will learn. I'll be changing the way I deworm as of right now. (Celeita Kramer Owner, Crossed Sabers Stable President/Executive Director, The Mountain State Horse School and Second Wind Adoption Program, Inc.) "Most Important Horse book ever If there is only ever one horse related book you ever buy or read, make sure it is What to Worm Your Horse With, Made Easy by Dr. Ann Nyland. I cannot believe my ignorance of the RIGHT way to approach worming horses. Ann lays it out simply and easily. Forget what you ever thought you knew about rotational worming and read this book!!! I was seriously shocked by how wrong I had it all and I consider myself reasonably well educated and informed on horse health issues. Learning about the terrible dangers of encysted small strongyles in otherwise healthy looking horses was quite frightening. (Jen Green - Flying Circus Endurance Stables - Australia) Today, the problem worm is the small strongyle yet the vast majority of advice given today for worming horses is still aimed at the old regimens suited for eradicating the large strongyle. Rotation is no longer advocated by equine parasitologists. The book cuts through the claims about worming products, both chemical and natural / herbal, and presents the scientific evidence. When to worm, resistance, rotational wormings, harrowing, are all covered in this book. A clear easy-to-understand guide to horse and donkey worms and wormers. Although written in easy language for the layperson, the book is heavily referenced to scientific academic journals. Natural Horse Care The Right Way If you own a horse, this book is a must for you! Natural Horse Care The Right Way exposes the myths and the incorrect information out there about certain herbs, minerals and natural practices, that can be, and have proven to be, unhealthy and even dangerous for horses. Natural Horse Care The Right Way also supplies evidence for the usefulness of some natural minerals and herbs, and discusses the benefits of having our horses barefoot, bitless and treeless. While herself an advocate for natural, Dr. Nyland believes we need to be informed about certain products and methods so we can make informed decisions about the care of our horses. Xenophon: Art of Horsemanship: Xenophon and Other Classical Writers This is a new (2010) easy-to-read translation by ancient Greek language scholar and horsewoman Dr. A. Nyland and is NOT one of the many century-old public domain translations NOR is it a reworded public domain version. Great advances which have been made in ancient Greek word meaning in the last twenty years were unknown to the translators of the public domain versions of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Despite the current trend for non-translators to reproduce public domain versions as a commercial venture, be aware that such public domain versions do not take advantage of recent scholarship in word meaning. Xenophon was an ancient Greek soldier who lived from around 430-354 BC. His "Art of Horsemanship" is his work on selecting and educating horses. It was not the first work of its kind, an earlier being that by Simon of Athens. This book also includes excerpts by other ancient writers on horses and two of Xenophon's other works mentioning horsemanship.. The Kikkuli Method of Horse Training A 3000 year old fitness program for horses offers modern trainers the opportunity to improve horses' fitness while keeping them sound and happy. The program was named after its creator, the Mitannian Master Horse Trainer Kikkuli, whose horse conditioning techniques helped establish a military empire in around 1345 BC. By following the instructions laid down in the Kikkuli Text, you will be able to produce a superb equine athlete without the use of drugs or expensive feed additives. Dr. A. Nyland translated the ancient Kikkuli Text, which was written on 4 clay tablets in Hittite cuneiform, into English. In 1991, Dr. Nyland, then an academic of the University of New England in Australia, as well as Arabian horse breeder and long time endurance competitor, put Arabian horses through the entire program for the first time in 33 centuries. Her findings have significant implications for racehorse, trotter, endurance, and eventer owners and trainers. The results suggested that Kikkuli's methods achieve a standard of fitness in mind and body in horses unmatched by modern techniques.
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