Natural Diet for Horses


A natural diet for horses can vary considerably depending on the individual horse and their regular workload. A racehorse’s nutritional requirement differs greatly from a weekend leisure pony for example. The following is provided as a basic guideline and will need to be varied according to your horse’s breed, workload and nutritional needs. Horses are grazing animals and in the wild, they would travel over great distances to obtain food and water. Wild horses graze for approximately 18-20 hours per day on native grasses which are low in nutrition. Horses have a fairly small stomach and large hind gut which […]


Solutions for Anxiety and Stress


Solutions for Anxiety and Stress Your animal’s behaviour is the best indicator if they are suffering from anxiety or stress. They tell us a lot by their actions, their physiological responses, and sometimes by the “evidence” they’ve left while you’ve been at work. Some dogs howl all day long when left home alone. Dogs or cats that feel threatened may show aggressive behaviour towards other animals as a way of protecting themselves. Loud noises from fireworks, storms and thunder may cause some pets to become totally panic stricken. Some animals will destroy furniture, scratch up the place or relieve themselves […]


Avoid Equine Heat Stress


During Summer with scorching temperatures it is important to avoid equine heat stress. It is all about your horse being able to maintain his core body temperature close to 37.5C. This he can efficiently do on his own under most environmental conditions provided he has choices, for example access to shade and a clean trough that dispenses nice, cool water. Heat stress is the result of a build-up of heat in the horse’s body, usually due to some impediment to the normal sweating process.  In the horse, sweating is the most important means of reducing core body temperature. It works […]


Is Your Horse Foot-Sore?


If you answered YES, then read on to find out why… You may be using an experienced farrier who is trimming your horse regularly every 5 or 6 weeks yet your horse has sore feet a lot of the time. Even when ridden over rough surfaces regularly, why is it that sometimes your horse can trot easily over firm ground and other times they are struggling to walk on anything firmer than sand or soft grass? Each time the farrier comes, you hope they don’t go lame after a trim or you end up putting shoes on because you can’t seem […]


Feeding Raw for Dogs & Cats – A Vet’s Perspective


Feeding Raw for Dogs & Cats – A Vet’s perspective by Dr Dr Bruce Syme BVSc(Hons) Gastric Acidity, Digesting Bones, Gut Transit Time and Salmonella There has been much debate about the “potential” dangers of feeding bones to dogs, and also of the potential risks of food poisoning and salmonella infection that the feeding of raw meat to dogs and cats may carry. So it may be of interest to note that much of this information, or mis-information, relates back to the very nature of the gastric environment of the dog and cat, which in turn, is directly related to diet. […]


How do you know if you have a ‘Grass Affected’ Horse?


If its Autumn or Spring, the risk is highest but certain grasses, supplements and feeds can affect some horses all year long. A ‘Grass affected horse’ is one where one or multiple aspects of their diet are adversely affecting their health and behavior. This usually originates from the forage (grass) but can be further exacerbated by the addition of other potassium rich feeds to their diet. The fastest way to create a ‘Grass Affected’ horse is to graze them on dairy pasture or other pasture that has been fertilized with potash, super-phosphate, DAP, Urea, NPK etc. This is enough to create a ‘Grass Affected’ horse […]


Autumn Grass Issues for Horses


Autumn grass growth can adversely affect some horses! Autumn and (Spring) grass can cause a lot of problems for horses when they eat these short green shoots. After testing some grass in a paddock with short green growing grass recently the results came back as: 1. High potassium (3.4%) low sodium (0.138%) Translates to a stress on the horse to excrete the excess potassium and conserve sodium (as this is not enough to run the metabolism of the horse). Hence the recommendation to add salt to feeds. 2. High Nitrates (nearly 1700 mgs/kg which translates for a LOT when the horse […]


Pottenger Cat Study


The Pottenger cat study came about like many great discoveries, Dr Francis M Pottenger accidentally found that his laboratory cats were noticeably healthier when fed on a diet of raw meats rather than cooked meats. Dr Pottenger, a human doctor, was involved in using cats to assess the potency of adrenal extracts for use in human medicine. Pottenger’s cats were fed on table scraps from the local restaurant. When the restaurant closed during the off season, he was forced to source his meat scraps directly from the local abbatoir (which came raw). During the time he was feeding the raw […]


Watch for Laminitis and Founder


There is a difference between laminitis and founder – Laminitis is inflammation of the laminae (which is the tissue that attaches the coffin bone to the hoof wall). Founder, is where the laminae have let go allowing the coffin bone to ‘sink’ within the hoof capsule. Laminitis nearly always precedes founder. Laminitis is a CHEMISTRY problem, which is relatively easy to rectify if action is taken early enough. However, once the laminae have ‘let go’, it is now a PHYSICAL injury or a mechanical problem which is a whole different kettle of fish to recover from. To rehabilitate a foundered […]


Easter Warning for Dogs


Easter is upon us again? It’s that time of year when it’s critically important to ensure chocolate stays off the menu for your dog… Why is chocolate poisonous to dogs? The culprit is a compound called theobromine, which is absorbed in the bloodstream and causes cardiac, kidney and neurological dysfunction in dogs. Chocolate consumption symptoms such as diarrhoea, vomiting and hyperactivity will reveal themselves between 4 and 24 hours. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning Increased heart rate (which can cause arrhythmia) Muscle twitching Increased urination and excessive panting (which may lead to hyperthermia) Muscle tremors/seizures Coma and potentially, death DID YOU […]