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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1 day ago

Optim Equine

ULCER MEDICATIONS AND THE POTENTIAL IMPACT UPON STALLION FERTILITY...

With stud season rapidly approaching in the Southern Hemisphere, it is important to evaluate factors which influence stallion fertility. Many people are unaware of the potential effects routinely used medications may have on semen and stallion fertility. One such class of drugs are histamine‐2 receptor antagonists, which includes ranitidine. Ranitidine is one of the two commonly used active constituents in ulcer medications (the other being omeprazole). Both human and rat studies have demonstrated ranitidine to negatively impact sperm parameters (motility, count, vitality and morphology). Whilst equine specific studies have not been conducted, when looking to OPTIMise stallion fertility, it certainly pays to take into account the use of such medications.
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2 weeks ago

Optim Equine

CHROMIUM and its benefits for RACEHORSES

Research suggests that chromium supplementation in fit racehorses may have a beneficial impact on their response to exercise stress.

When compared to controls, horses supplemented with chromium have been demonstrated to have lower peak lactic acid and cortisol concentrations in response to exercise. Triglyceride values also differed between the groups, possibly suggesting more efficient fat mobilisation in the horses supplemented with chromium.

As with any supplement, chromium should only be used in horses where it is appropriately indicated, having considered its relevance for a particular horse in an overall context.

Knowing what form of chromium to use, the dosage amount, duration of use, interactions with other nutrients (and where applicable medications) are all incredibly important factors to take into account.
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3 weeks ago

Optim Equine

FOAL IMMUNE HEALTH....

A foal's immune system can produce antibodies from 2-3 weeks of age, yet a healthy foal will not be able to mount a full scale immune response until 10-12 weeks of age. This highlights one of the many important reasons why foals need adequate high-quality colostrum from the mare in the first 12-16 hours after birth: the colostrum helps to provide temporary cover against common diseases.
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1 month ago

Optim Equine

Dexamethasone use and STALLION FERTILITY.....

Did you know that a SINGLE dose of Dexamethasone can significantly reduce levels of circulating testosterone in stallions? Additionally, a single dose of dexamethasone may impair semen quality for 4-6 WEEKS after administration.

If your stallion's fertility levels haven't been where you'd hope or expect them to be, now's the time to look at the influencing factors. You could wait, cross your fingers and hope for the best this season. You could blame sub-par results on the quality of mares/the weather/the broodmare managers/the vetting/any number of excuses...or you could get off your backside and do something proactive about it.

Be intelligent. Identify and address contributing factors and OPTIMise your stallions fertility. It will pay dividends...
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2 months ago

Optim Equine

Feeding the horse with a POOR APPETITE (Part 5): THE FEED OFFERED

In this final instalment of ‘Feeding the horse with a poor appetite’ we will briefly explore some of the potential ways in which the food offered to a horse can contribute to the horse having a poor appetite.

One of the most obvious (and serious) considerations is the quality of the food. Hay or feed which is musty, mouldy, stale or rancid is largely unpalatable to the horse. Many horses will leave such feed (which is a helpful protective mechanism from becoming ill due to consuming spoiled feed). Feed should be stored in appropriate conditions and always evaluated before feeding to the horse. Even some pre-packaged concentrates can at times spoil and/or become mouldy. Oils and high-fat feeds should be stored in dark, airtight containers, in cool conditions to minimise rancidity/oxidation.

The quantity of food offered to the horse is another important consideration. Horses in poor condition and/or heavy work are commonly offered large amounts of concentrated feeds by well-meaning owners, in hope of improving the horse’s condition. This can often backfire, as the horse struggles to finish feeds and becomes seemingly more disinterested in feed. In many cases, the horse may also be dealing with digestive conditions (potentially inflamed GIT, ulcers, dysbiosis, etc) making these feeds more difficult and often uncomfortable to digest.

Insufficient roughage in the diet (eg hay or grass) is one of the most common causes of poor appetite in the horse, but one of the most overlooked. Many people believe that a horse with a poor appetite (and often in poor condition), must be fed more high energy/concentrated feeds. Fibrous feeds are essential to optimise both gut health and digestive function, which in turn aids the horse in the ability to better digest and utilise the energy from food consumed and prevent GIT conditions in the horse which cause discomfort (for example, ulcers) . If a horse is not consuming sufficient fibre, increasing the amount of concentrate in the horse’s diet will not help promote best health in the horse.

Sudden changes in feed can also be a contributor to poor appetite in the horse. If circumstances dictate a need to change feeds in the horse, these changes should be introduced gradually. This allows the horse’s gut microbial population to gradually adjust. This in turn helps the horse to digest the feed better, in addition to minimising excessive gas production associated with major shifts in the microbial population. Additionally, it allows a horse to become accepting of the feed offered, especially if the newly introduced feed is less palatable than what the horse is used to.
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