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Science Corner

Changes in Gut Microflora Could Provide Early Warning of EMS

October 2016

Early diagnosis of Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) is an important area of study, especially considering one of the first signs can be laminitis - a serious and sometimes life-ending condition. Catching EMS in its initial stages can facilitate early intervention with an appropriate exercise and diet plan to reduce the chances of laminitis developing.  

Sarcoids: Researchers discover the genetic link

July 2016

Sarcoid skin tumors are the most common form of cancer in horses, but little is known about why the papillomavirus behind them strikes some horses and not others. A new study by an international research group led by scientists at the Baker Institute for Animal Health at Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine shows genetic differences in immune function between horses partly accounts for these differences.

Are Pectin-Lecithin Supplements Effective in Preventing and Treating Ulcers?

July 2016

In this article, equine nutritionist Karen Richardson reviews the scientific research available to find out if the claims made by supplements based on pectin-lecithin complexes match their effectiveness in preventing and treating equine gastric ulcers (EGUS). Understanding phospholipids' protective role

First True Insight into the Horse's Gut

June 2016

Veterinary and engineering researchers at Canada's University of Saskatchewan have teamed up to harness imaging technology to fill in a blank area in animal health: What goes on inside the horse’s gut? “Whenever I talk to students about the horse abdomen, I put up a picture of a horse and put a big question mark in the middle,” says veterinary researcher Dr. Julia Montgomery in the University of Saskatchewan's Western College of Veterinary Medicine. Montgomery worked with equine surgeon Dr.

Effect of dietary starch on equine behaviour

June 2016

It is not uncommon for horse owners to supplement their horse’s diet with 'calming products' to curb unwanted, over-reactive, and potentially dangerous behaviours. There is no question that a population of horses are overly sensitive or over-reactive to certain situations, and these horses may have 'imbalances' which supplements can help to correct.

New System to Give Healing Horses a Lift

May 2016

Researchers and engineers in Saskatchewan hope a robotic lift system will help to improve the odds for horses recovering from limb fractures and other traumatic injuries. "I think it will give a lot of horses a chance that before didn't have a chance," says team leader Dr Julia Montgomery, a large animal internal medicine specialist at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S).

Can Super Fibres Fuel Performance Horses?

May 2016

Last month, Karen Richardson discussed the digestive and fermentation characteristics of 'super fibre' products (i.e. haylage, sugarbeet pulp, soyhulls) that make them more energy-dense than other fibrous products, such as hay and chaff. This month, she investigates whether super fibres have what it takes to fuel hard working performance and racing horses.

What's Super about Super Fibres?

April 2016

You may be familiar with 'super fibre' products, such as sugarbeet pulp, soyhulls and haylage, but what makes these products stand out as superior sources of digestible energy amongst their traditional forage counterparts hay and chaff? The short answer is they have been shown to be more digestible than hay, possess superior fermentation characteristics and, ultimately, are an excellent source of digestible energy.  Digestibility

Veterinarians Urged to Learn About Saddle Fit

November 2015

Veterinarians Urged to Learn About Saddle Fit: Horse owner education and detection of poor saddle fit a priority. As poor saddle fit is increasingly recognised as a welfare issue, a recent article published in the Equine Veterinary Education Journal highlights the need for veterinarians to learn more about the principles of saddle fit and how to recognise an ill-fitting saddle. Compromising a horse and rider’s short- and long-term health, an ill-fitting saddle can result in pain, muscle atrophy, poor back function and poor performance, which means early detection is crucial. 

Rider Core Fitness Improves Symmetry and Stride Length

November 2015

Defined as an individual’s ability to control the position and motion of the trunk over the pelvis, core stability affects how we control our body and limbs during movement and sport. In all equestrian disciplines, it is recognised that core stability helps riders maintain their balance and minimises the disturbance their weight has on the horse's back, allowing the pair to move more freely and in better balance.  

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