The Horse

OCT 2017

The Horse:Your Guide To Equine Health Care provides monthly equine health care information to horse owners, breeders, veterinarians, barn/farm managers, trainer/riding instructors, and others involved in the hands-on care of the horse.

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Page 38 of 51

39 October 2017 THE HORSE oil, is a concentrated source of energy, providing 2.5-3 times the calories as similar weight of grain," says Crandell. "However, there is a limit to how much fat can be fed—an excess of 12% of the total diet risks disruption to the intestinal microbial ecosystem. Most total diets— forage and concentrates/supplements— rarely exceed 6% fat." Rice bran is a popular fat source. How- ever, Davison notes its potential issues: "While the fat and nutrients in rice bran keep a horse shiny, its high phosphorus content is problematic and could contrib- ute to poor skeletal development due to an inverted calcium-to-phosphorus ratio." With that in mind, most manufacturers of commercial stabilized rice bran prod- ucts add calcium to balance the calcium- to-phosphorus ratio. If you offer dietary fat using oil rather than a concentrate feed source that contains vitamins and minerals, supple- ment with 100 IU of natural vitamin E per 100 mL (~3 ounces) of vegetable oil, says Crandell. "There is an upper limit to the amount of fat a horse will tolerate," she adds. "Horses are highly sensitive to rancidity in fat, which will turn them off their feed. Possible disruptions in the di- gestive tract caused by excess dietary fat also can contribute to poor performance." Crandell says fat should not replace all calories from starch; otherwise, growth and maturation could slow. On the other hand, if oversupplied, especially when necessary nutrients are missing, fat calo- ries accelerate fat deposition. "A young horse that reaches a body condition score of 7 or greater is at a much greater risk for developing DOD and insulin insensitivity, regardless of the source of dietary calories," says Davison. Preventing DOD Dietary imbalances, management, and genetics make growing horses prone to DODs, which include physitis, angular limb and flexural deformities, osteochon- drosis, and vertebral malformations. Davison says that when a population of young horses has been fed a poorly balanced diet or excessive calories, or if they've been overfed after a period of improper feeding, subsequent accelerated growth rates can lead to a higher-than- normal incidence of DOD. "Significant time in confinement is also deleterious to the growing skeleton," she says. "Cor- recting these issues likely reduces the incidence of DOD in young horses." That Have you had it with lugging buckets and scrubbing your stock tanks all the time? Then it's time to install automatic waterers from Classic Equine by Ritchie. Our automatic waterers are always working, so you don't have to. So let us take care of the watering because you've probably got better things to do. STOP CARRYING THE WATER

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