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Feed For Thought: The unsound horse: Is it joint pain or muscle pain? 2013-12-06
With modern veterinary medicine, it is quite easy to get into an inject-a-thon trying to pinpoint the source of your equine’s pain using the common assumption that arthritis is the culprit. But what if it’s actually your horse’s muscles that are causing them pain? Just like in people, horses often suffer from delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) which is muscle soreness or stiffness that can occur 1-3 days after the original exertion. While it is a common misconception that DOMS is caused by lactic acid build up in the muscles, it is actually the result of damage to the muscle cell membranes caused by the free radicals (highly reactive compounds that want to combine with everything) left over from the energy generative processes which fuel the working muscles (Schwane et. al. 1983). The open muscle cell will then spill its contents of proteins and enzymes into the surrounding areas resulting in inflammation, limb lameness & reduced performance.
Feed For Thought: NSCS: Why are they important? What are they? 2013-11-27
In the last ten years, nonstructural carbohydrates have gone from something described in a handful of scientifi c articles to one of the most talked about aspects of equine nutrition. Nonstructural carbohydrates or NSCs are the summation of simple sugars, starches, and fructans within a feedstuff and are often expressed as a percentage of the total dry matter of the feedstuff in question (Hall 2003). Sugars & starches are the readily available energy sources found in a variety of grains & forages while fructans are chains of the simple sugar fructose that are produced by coolseason grasses, such as timothy or orchard grass, when under stress & can be used as potent prebiotic additive in minute quantities in the form of fructooligosaccharies (FOS).
Feed For Thought: the problem with alfalfa-grass blends in baled hay. What’s the problem? 2013-11-25
Too often people will swear up & down that alfalfa is a major cause of laminitis in horses. While any high calorie component in a horse’s diet can contribute to equine metabolic syndrome (EMS), that lush, green alfalfa is not the high sugar culprit; instead, it’s the grass hay in your alfalfa-grass blend hay.