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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3 days 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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1 week ago

Optim Equine

Ever stopped to think about foal suckling habits?

Consider these fascinating foal facts...

🐴Foals suckle about 4 times per hour, or up to 105 times daily during the first week of life.

🐴Foals stay within one metre of their mothers up to 85% of the time, rarely venturing more than five metres away during the first two weeks after birth.

🐴Foals generally only suckle for only 30-40 second at a time, taking in 50-60ml of milk each drink.

Foals are incredible in so many ways!

#foal #foalsofinstagram #foalsof2020 #foalfacts #thoroughbreds #thoroughbredsofinstagram #horse #equine #racehorses #performancehorse #equinenutrition
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📸 @whishawrobyn
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2 weeks ago

Optim Equine

LEAVE THE CORD….at least for a little longer!!

Once a foal has been safely delivered, many people are eager to break and clamp the umbilical cord. Where possible, let nature do the breaking. This will generally occur when the mare stands or the foal attempts to stand.

By leaving the umbilicus attached as long as possible, it is likely that increased blood from the placenta passes back in to the foal (placental transfusion). In other animal models, this has demonstrated significant increases in blood volume, haemoglobin and total iron stores in the offspring. The benefits are even more pronounced in premature offspring.

Once the cord has broken naturally, then go ahead and clamp and disinfect the stump. Remember its not a race. There is plenty of time to treat the umbilical stump and tend to the foal.
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📸 @whishawrobyn
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#foal #foalsofinstagram #foalingseason #equinephotography #equinesofinstagram #horse #horsehealth #broodmare
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3 weeks ago

Optim Equine

HELP! MY HORSE IS IN PAIN! WHAT NATURAL TREATMENT CAN I GIVE HIM?

Let’s talk about PAIN in the HORSE….

Pain, it can range from minor to debilitating- and it is one of the most common reasons horse owners seek treatment for their horses- whether that be conventional pharmaceutical intervention or ‘natural’ supplements or treatments.

Pain occurs for a reason- and generally, it is a clear warning sign that something is not right with the horse. It is a ‘messenger’ which serves as an opportunity to delve further…

Is the pain musculoskeletal, neuralgic (nerve), inflammatory, laminitic, gastrointestinal or a symptom of being unwell? Is it acute (a recent response) or chronic (lasting an extensive period of time).

These are just some of the questions that need to be answered in order to provide effective pain relief, whilst promoting a horse’s long-term health, in addition to reducing undesirable side effects and consequences of not adequately addressing pain (and potentially masking the underlying cause).

‘Treating’ all pain with a set formula, treatment or regime is not the way to effectively manage the pain the horse is experiencing, resolve the cause, and prevent further physiological damage or deterioration in their condition.

Simply treating a horse with bute or other anti-inflammatories without delving into the cause of the pain and why it has come about is ignorance. Thinking that using a natural herb or product in the same vain (yes this includes ‘herbal bute’ or Devil’s Claw) is not much better.

A good practitioner will account for the cause of the pain in their treatment strategy/approach- thus one approach for pain will certainly not and should not fit all cases.

Yes- effectively and safely relieve the pain the horse is in, but equally importantly identify and address the cause of the pain. Get to the root of the problem. Masking/temporarily relieving the pain without exploring the reasons for it NOT in the best interests of your horse’s health, performance, longevity or welfare….
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📸 @whishawrobyn
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#horse #equinehealth #osteoarthritis #performancehorse #horseinjury #horseracing #horsemanagement #thoroughbreds #ottb #horsemedicine
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4 weeks ago

Optim Equine

Dealing with a mare with chronic bacterial endometritis and struggling to counter the infection? How are you addressing biofilms?

Bacteria in biofilms can readily become resistant to both antibiotics and the host immune system, developing a tolerance to antimicrobial agents, biocides and antiseptics. In fact, research has demonstrated that bacteria residing in a biofilm can be up to 1,000 times more refractive to treatment with antibiotics as compared to free-living (planktonic) bacteria.

Some try to unsuccessfully counter this by administering more or a higher concentration of antibiotics. Yet this just compounds the problem, likely contributing to further antimicrobial resistance.

The goals in treating biofilm associated infection are multifaceted. Whilst conventional approaches largely focus on ‘killing’ the pathogenic bacteria, the biofilm MUST be disrupted for any antimicrobial treatment to be effective.

Not only is disrupting the biofilm essential for a successful treatment outcome, but so is repopulating the vaginal tract with bacteria and microbes which provide a line of defence against pathogenic bacteria, inhibiting pathogenic bacterial (and/or fungal) colonisation and releasing byproducts which help to prevent pathogens adhering to the endometrial lining.

Simply breaking up the biofilm on its own isn’t enough if you want to prevent being haunted by the same problem again in time. Judiciously employed specific herbal medicines and nutraceuticals can play an invaluable role in helping achieve successful outcomes.
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#broodmare #thoroughbredsofinstagram #breedingseason2020 #foalsofinstagram #endometritis #bacterialendometritis #equinemedicine #equinesofinstagram #horsehealth
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