Natural Equine Health Solutions

Optim Equine brings a unique approach to optimising horse health, wellbeing and performance.

Combining scientific evidence-based medicine with traditional naturopathic practices, Optim Equine delivers the most effective and beneficial health outcomes for your horse.

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5 days ago

Optim Equine

Altrenogest (Regumate/Readyserve), Performance and Musculoskeletal Health

So often medications are used in horses without consideration of their potential drawbacks. Take altrenogest for example. This synthetic form of progesterone is used in many racing and performance circles, in addition to those simply wanting to ‘control’ the oestrous cycle in their mare/filly. Whilst excessively high levels of oestrogen come with their own set of complications, abnormally suppressing oestrogen levels through the use of altrenogest could be hampering your mare or filly’s recovery and athletic performance, whilst increasing musculoskeletal injury risk.

Oestrogen is essential to promote post-exercise recovery and repair mechanisms: By routinely keeping progesterone levels high (and oestrogen low), you may increase the risk of muscle, bone, ligament and tendon damage. Slower recovery from training and racing may also be implicated.
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📸 @whishawrobyn
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#filly #mare #racehorsetoridinghorse #racehorses #thoroughbred #performancehorse #ottb #dressage #showjumping #eventing #ponyclub
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2 weeks ago

Optim Equine

EQUINE ASTHMA SYNDROME

Equine Asthma Syndrome is a term which encompasses both Inflammatory Airway Disease (IAD) and Recurrent Airway Obstruction (ROA). Two very common, yet largely preventable conditions in the racehorse (and often sport horse).

The likelihood of a horse having Equine Asthma Syndrome increases significantly if they spend the majority of time in stables, with minimal turnout.

Stables are full of tiny particles that can infiltrate and subsequently irritate their respiratory system. Barn air quality is difficult to visually assess: the particles that irritate the airways are generally microscopic in size.

Fortunately, there are many feeding, management and supplemental strategies which can help prevent the narrowing and spasms of the air passages (bronchoconstriction and bronchospasm) and excessive mucus production associated with Equine Asthma Syndrome.

Before or in addition to the use of strategic supplementation, there are three super simple steps any stable can implement to improve the respiratory health of their horses:

•Only muck stalls out when horses are not in the barn
•Avoid the use of blower vacs in barns.
•Only sweep the barn when horses are out.

Doing these things whilst the horses are out (working and/or turned out) and allowing at least half an hour after completing the above tasks before bringing the horses back in will help to reduce the particulates they inhale.

The result? Healthier, less irritated airways and horses who are better able to breathe and perform.
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📸 @whishawrobyn
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#horsesofinstagram #racehorses #thoroughbred #sporthorse #performancehorse #eventinghorse #ottbsofinstagram #horsehealth #horsenutrition #stablelife
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3 weeks ago

Optim Equine

Marbles….not a smart idea.

A practice which is (fortunately) becoming less common, but still occurs too often is the use of marbles to suppress/prevent oestrus in the filly or mare.

The practice involves placing a marble in the uterus within 24 hours after ovulation, based on the premise that the marble can help the corpus luteum (CL) on the ovary to remain, thereby aiding the production of high levels of progesterone and mitigating significant rises in oestrogen (the predominant hormone associated with oestrus).

There are many things to consider with this practice. Firstly, it is not effective in all cases and lacks substantial evidence for clinical efficacy. More concerning is the safety and potential repercussions of the practice. The use of marbles can result in chronic uterine fluid accumulation, uterine infection, damage to the cervix, fibrosis, adhesions and endometritis- all being serious health consequences. And whilst it may be the last thing on your mind- if someone wants to breed from the mare down the track, complications from the previous use of marbles can pose significant reproductive challenges.

Marbles don’t always remain in place where they are inserted, and can prove difficult to remove in some mares. There are many instances where marbles have shattered in mares- leaving glass shards in the uterus. NOT. NICE.

Even in cases where marbles remain in place, it is important to note that they will not be effective in mares who display ‘mareish’ symptoms for reasons other than when they are in heat, or when they are in transitional phases of their cycle (late autumn and early spring) when they are not ovulating and producing corpora lutea.

Don’t lose your marbles….don’t stick them in places they shouldn’t go…..
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📸 @whishawrobyn
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#horsesofinstagram #mare #fillies #estrus #performancehorse #racehorse #eventinghorse #showjumping #dressage #equestrian #ponyclub #ottb
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4 weeks ago

Optim Equine

SKIN HEALTH PROBLEMS in HORSES

In practice, I am commonly called in to see skin health challenges in horses. From greasy heel, Queensland/sweet itch, hives, dry/flaky skin and poor coat quality.

In the majority of cases, owners have already tried a multitude of different topical washes, creams and lotions, without lasting success. Whilst appropriate topical applications can be useful, especially in the case of acute flare ups of skin conditions, rarely do they ever address the cause- and if the cause remains, invariably the problem persists or will rear its ugly head again.

Research has clearly demonstrated a close link between the health of the gastrointestinal microbiome (the balance of bacteria and other microbes which colonise the gastrointestinal tract) and skin health. Put simply, if gut health is not optimal, a horse is more likely to suffer from an array of skin complaints. To effectively resolve and prevent skin complaints, the microbiome of the gut needs to be appropriately modulated. The methods to achieve this should be multifaceted and tailored to each individual horse.
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#performancehorse #horsehealth #equinephotography #thoroughbred #ottbsofinstagram #eventinghorse #equestrian #equestrianlife
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📸 @whishawrobyn
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