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Mycotoxins in the equine environment

Mycotoxins are compounds produced by moulds and fungi, and can be found in pastures as well as on dried forages, bedding, grains, and complete feeds. Of all the agricultural species, horses are among the most sensitive to toxicosis from mycotoxins. An important reason for this is that horses typically have a much longer life span than any other agricultural species and exposure to mycotoxins can be over many years. Clinical signs of pathological exposure to mycotoxins may include reduced growth rates in foals/young horses, respiratory dysfunction, problems with fertility and reproduction, neurological and/or brain disorders, liver or kidney damage, allergic...

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on Joint Supplements

I have an older horse †and I’m worried about him developing arthritis. Is there any evidence that joint care supplements can help prevent the development of joint inflammation? Joint care products are among the most popular supplements fed by horse people. Millions of dollars a year are spent on a wide range of mysterious powders, including glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, DMG, hyaluronic acid, and a multitude of herbal blends. However, consumer enthusiasm for parting with their money on behalf of these products is not necessarily matched by manufacturer willingness to provide research evidence for safety or efficacy. Seeking products with evidence...

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My horse has a big belly but I can still see his ribs. Is he fat?

This sounds like a very typical "hay belly". Hay belly is, literally, a belly full of hay. This is very common, particularly in older horses, and frequently is caused by a declining ability to digest hay usually due to inadequately chewing the hay. Consequently hay sits in the gut for a prolonged period of time and accumulates. Meanwhile, they horse cannot extract sufficient nutrients from the hay so, despite their roly poly belly, they actually become underweight, hence the ribs. Our goal in feeding a horse like this is to optimize digestion of long stem fiber so that we reduce...

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Herbs for Horses takes on highest level of food-safety certification

As part of our commitment to selling safe and honest products, Herbs for Horses recently achieved ISO-22000 certification. “It’s the highest level of global food safety certification” explains Ralph Robinson, owner of Herbs for Horses. The standards – set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) – are designed to ensure that products are safe, reliable, and of good, consistent quality. It’s a voluntary step for the company, but one that fits with Herbs for Horses overall approach to doing business. For Robinson, selling an honest and quality product has always been at the forefront of his company’s mission. I...

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What you need to know about giving your horse electrolytes

What you need to know about giving your horse electrolytes

WHAT ARE ELECTROLYTES? Electrolytes are minerals and salts dissolved in the horse’s body fluids. Having the proper balance and concentration of electrolytes in the body is essential for regulating hydration, blood pH and for nerve, muscle and heart function. WHY SUPPLEMENT? When horses sweat, significant amounts of electrolytes are lost, and must be replaced to maintain proper concentrations inside the body. During exercise horses can lose as much as 15-20 liters of body fluids through sweating. Drinking water alone after exercise, without food or electrolyte supplementation, will dilute electrolyte concentrations inside the body. In response, the kidneys will eliminate the...

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Ten thousand kilos of human-grade herbs

Ten thousand kilos of human-grade herbs

Things have been busy around the Herbs for Horses warehouse since the latest shipment of herbs arrived from Europe. From sourcing to sampling and food safety certification, securing quality ingredients is a top priority at Herbs for Horses. “We get all our herbs from Europe,” explains owner and founder Ralph Robinson. “Because the herbal industry is larger and more organized there, they have a better assortment of products and the quality is much better.†We don’t buy anything that’s not human grade and ISO Food-Safety Certified.” Herbal medicine has maintained a stronger foothold in Europe. Where as North America veered strongly...

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How to read product labels

How to read product labels

A lax regulatory environment underscores the value of learning to read between the lines. Supplements for horses are not regulated the same way pharmaceutical drugs are. As a result, unfortunately, many poor quality products can and do make it to market. One study* that looked at equine glucosamine supplements, for example, found that of the 23 commercially available products tested, only 14 actually contained the level of glucosamine as claimed on the label.† Further, four of the products were found to contain less than 30% of the labeled amount. Given the current regulatory landscape, quality control ultimately rests with individual...

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Liver Function and Dysfunction in the Horse

Liver Function and Dysfunction in the Horse

The horse is one of Nature’s most beautiful and mystifying creations. There’s something about that magnificent organization of power and grace that inspires us to a level of wonder unlike any other animal on the planet. It is quite unlikely, however, that we attribute much of the horse’s enchantment to his liver. After all, there’s something decidedly unmagical about offal. And indeed for the casual un-invested observer, a horse’s liver may not warrant any particular attention. But to those of us enslaved by the incalculable power of the horse, a little knowledge about his liver can go a long to...

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5 Tips for Fly Control… Naturally

5 Tips for Fly Control… Naturally

Well it’s finally starting to feel as though spring has actually arrived! But with the warmer weather come flying insects – attracted unfortunately, to our horses and our farms. Biting flies and mosquitoes not only annoy horses and cause discomfort, they can spread disease and infection, as well as provoke allergic responses in some individuals. During the peak season, some form of insect control is therefore essential to protect your horse’s health and wellbeing. Fortunately, the use of chemical insecticides doesn’t have to be the answer. Here are some natural fly control strategies you can use this season that are...

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Ancient medicine withstands the test of modern science

Ancient medicine withstands the test of modern science

"Because it’s always been used for that…" does not cut it for Guelph-based Selected Bioproducts Inc. This manufacturer of medicinal herbal products for horses and canines was the first to put objective science behind their equine herbal products more than a decade ago. And to this day they remain the only equine herbal products company in Canada to build a product line based on 3rd party research into efficacy and safety. Their flagship product "Mobility" was the first to be tested. The Equine Research Centre located at the Ontario Veterinary College, Guelph, Ontario, Canada; fed Mobility to a statistically valid sample...

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