The Horse

MAR 2019

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 32 of 75 | The Horse March 2019 33 inflammatory condition such as laminitis or equine metabolic syndrome? In another study at CSU, researchers compared feeding flaxseed to a marine source of omega-3s derived from both fish oil and algae to see how they would alter the fatty acid composi- tion in synovial (joint) fluid and prosta- glandin E 2 (an inflammatory mediator) concentrations. The team only found EPA and DHA in the synovial fluid and plasma of horses supplemented with the marine source. ■ Do your senior horse's joints need extra support? Adding omega-3s with EPA and DHA to the diets of mature horses with arthritis lowered some inflammatory markers in the synovial fluid of affected joints (Manhart et al., 2009). Research also suggests that oral supplementation of a fish- and algae- derived source of DHA and EPA confers joint tissue protection in healthy joints affected by mild synovitis, or inflamma- tion of the synovial membrane (Ross et al., 2016). ■ Do you own broodmares and stal- lions or raise young horses? Adding DHA to the diet can positively affect se- men quality, increase passive transfer of DHA to foals, and potentially improve young horses' learning and memory. The final consideration when choosing an omega-3 source is cost. In most cases plant-based sources of omega-3s will be less expensive than marine sources. Take-Home Message Vegetable- and marine-based sources can provide your horse with essential omega-3 fatty acids. Forages, canola oil, soybean oil, chia, and flax contain ALA, while fish oil and algae provide DHA and EPA. Choose the best omega-3 option for your horse by considering the supplement form, your goal in providing omega-3 sup- port, and cost, and talk with a nutritionist or your vet if you have questions. h Fuel your passion

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