All Seasons Cushing’s Testing
As many of you may be aware Misty Hollow Equine has been participating in an ongoing Cushings study at Cornell University and one of the elements of the study was determining the reliability of fall testing. In the September issue of Equus the article “All Seasons Cushing’s Testing” states,
“Seasonal fluctuations in hormone levels once made testing for PPID difficult in the late summer and early fall, but research has led to a better understanding of normal reference values. Veterinarians can now interpret results from blood tests done in any season.”
If you suspect your horse may have the condition, there is no need to delay testing and , if necessary, to begin treatment as soon as possible.
New Quarantine Facility
The new quarantine facility just opened at New York’s JFK airport. The ARK is a 14 acre, $65 million facility providing on site quarantine for small and large animals being prepared for flights in and out of the country. Horses entering the United States from other countries previously had to be transported 90 miles away when arriving to JFK airport to upstate New York for USDA quarantine requirements. Now they will be evaluated immediately and put in stalls which will reduce stress. It is estimated the up to 4,000 horses will use the facility per year. The only other USDA quarantine stations are in Miami and Los Angeles.
Lameness Clinic 2017
The lameness clinic was a great success. We had a wonderful turnout and beautiful weather. Thanks to all the volunteers who helped organize this event including Angela Duffner (Great Food!), Jeff Duffner, Ryan and Shannan Augenbaugh, Erin Grimm (“Jessie”), Afton Colder (“Peaches”), Mike Hartman (“Paint”and Texas Longhorn beef), Jamie Rusinko (Massage Therapy), the Misty Hollow Equine Team and all the attendees who helped raise $400 for animals in need.
4 Misconceptions About Alfalfa
Mar 21, 2017
Despite all the science-backed suggestions about feeding alfalfa, it remains a misunderstood forage.
Despite all the science-backed suggestions about feeding alfalfa, it remains a misunderstood forage. The following are a few misconceptions worth clarifying.
Myth: An alfalfa-rich diet causes kidney problems.
“A normal, healthy horse can metabolize and excrete the extra protein in alfalfa just fine, if the horse has adequate water,” says Ray Smith, PhD, forage extension specialist at the University of Kentucky, in Lexington. Horses with kidney disease shouldn’t consume a high-protein diet (such as alfalfa), but the alfalfa itself won’t cause kidney disease.
Myth: Alfalfa makes horses hyper.
“I don’t think there is any scientific basis for this,” says Krishona Martinson, PhD, associate professor and equine extension specialist at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Animal Science, in Falcon Heights. “Alfalfa does have more energy compared to grass hay of similar maturity, so perhaps a horse eating a lot of alfalfa in the absence of exercise may have more energy. The biggest issue with alfalfa, however, is weight gain in horses that don’t have adequate exercise.”
Myth: Alfalfa has high nonstructural carbohydrate (NSC) levels.
“Cool-season grasses like timothy, bromegrass, and orchardgrass actually have higher nonstructural carbohydrate content and sugars than legumes,” says Martinson. “Horses with carbohydrate sensitivity (e.g., obese horses, those with laminitis, equine metabolic syndrome, equine Cushing’s disease, or polysaccharide storage myopathy) need their diet carefully monitored for nonstructural carbohydrates and can benefit from including some alfalfa rather than grain or cool-season grasses.”
Myth: Alfalfa aggravates respiratory problems in horses with heaves.
Some horses tend to cough more when fed alfalfa, but this is due to irritants such as dust and mold rather than the alfalfa itself. Alfalfa can be dustier than grass hay when moisture conditions at baling are less-than-ideal. Alfalfa leaves also tend to shatter when too dry, creating more dust particles.
“Mold formation is also related to moisture content when baling,” says Martinson. “One issue with alfalfa—which tends to have more stem than grass—is that the stem takes longer to dry. Alfalfa might take 12 to 24 hours longer to dry than a grass crop, simply because it has more stems. Moldy grass hay or moldy alfalfa hay both cause airway irritation when mold dust is inhaled.”
The horse industry is full of misconceptions about alfalfa. Before dismissing this nutrient-rich forage, contact your veterinarian or equine nutritionist to develop a feeding program that’s right for your horse.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Heather Smith Thomas ranches with her husband near Salmon, Idaho, raising cattle and a few horses. She has a B.A. in English and history from University of Puget Sound (1966). She has raised and trained horses for 50 years, and has been writing freelance articles and books nearly that long, publishing 20 books and more than 9,000 articles for horse and livestock publications. Some of her books include Understanding Equine Hoof Care, The Horse Conformation Handbook, Care and Management of Horses, Storey’s Guide to Raising Horses and Storey’s Guide to Training Horses. Besides having her own blog, www.heathersmiththomas.blog
Trailer Safety Check
Learn how to perform a safety check on your horse trailer before hitting the road. CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO
When it comes to treating horses, laser therapy can help with wounds, inflammation and more.
The United States equine competition season for three-day eventing reached its apex at Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event in Lexington, Ky. It is one of the pivotal international competitions which help determine who is to be selected for the Olympic teams competing in London this summer.
The pressure on every athlete, human and horse, to stay healthy, focused and yet relaxed and comfortable is enormously challenging. The eventing season is an endurance trial that requires either avoiding or recovering from fatigue and injuries. Managing these conditions in both the human and equine athlete plays a big role in determining who advances and who goes home.
Virginia is home to many of the top three-day eventing competitors, who mostly travel and compete in Florida and the Carolinas for the winter, then return North for the summer and fall events. CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY
With the new spring grass coming also comes Laminitis. Signs to be aware of include:
- Reluctance to move
- Shifting weight from leg to leg
- Laying down more than usual
- Stands up and rocks back onto hind legs
- Digital pulses palpable on either side of the fetlock
- Shows pain – Excessive sweating, inability to hold or pick up front feet easily
A New Life for Clyde
Clyde is now a thriving member of Equine Magic Therapeutic Services but just a year ago things were not so rosie for him. Clyde was rescued by the good people at Horizon Stables and once restored to good health he found his way into the hearts of some wonderful children. To learn more about Clyde and the program he is a part of click here.
Below are some pictures of Clyde before and as you can see his new life has done him a world of good.
Microchips are about the size of a grain of rice and can hold electronic data, such as identifying information about a horse. Microchipping provides a reliable way to verify a horse’s identity, which can contribute to the well-being of a horse and support consumer confidence during horse sales. Microchips are a standard of the FEI, the international equestrian sport governing body.
At the January 2016 USEF Annual Meeting, the USEF Board of Directors approved landmark rule changes for hunter/jumper competition that set forward a microchipping requirement at USEF-licensed and/or USHJA-sanctioned competitions with Hunter, Hunter Breeding, Jumper and Hunter/Jumping Seat Equitation classes not restricted by breed. The microchipping requirement will be implemented in two phases (see website for details.)
Greensburg, PA is host to the annual Turkey Trot. Dr. Liddell has attend this event for several years and facilitated donations for NEADS from Turkey Trot participants that run or walk with their dogs. This years efforts resulted in $1,000 raised for NEADS. To learn more about the NEADS organization or to make a donation please visit their website.
Lameness: Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention
Sunday July 9th 11am-2pm
Topics covered will include discussion of diagnostic approaches to lameness, treatments available including joint therapy, laser treatments, acupuncture, chiropractic, oral supplements, physical therapy, etc. and prevention. We will have two LIVE horse demonstrations showing a lameness evaluation workup and the approach used to define the problem and define the best treatment option for the horse.
On Line Payment Option Now Available
You can now pay your account balance online using PayPal. Click on the Pay Now button below and you will be redirected to the Misty Hollow PayPal page. Your invoice does not exist in PayPal so you will need to be aware of your outstanding balance.
Buttercups and Pregnant Mares Don’t Mix
The buttercup (Ranunculus bulbosus L) is a perennial plant that is TOXIC to all livestock species including the horse. Recently it was discovered to be a cause for abortion in Thorobred mares in Kentucky. Other signs of toxicosis include severe diarrhea weight loss, incoordination and paralysis.
Buttercups emerge from seed during the fall or later winter months. The weed is a cool-season plant and flourishes in overgrazed pastures. It thrives in wet, poorly drained soil and grows rapidly in the spring, blooming from March to August.
To get rid of the buttercup promote healthy grass growth by over seeding and fertilizing with lyme. Drain wet areas and broadleaf herbicides can be applied.