Equine Nutrition Counseling Services Have Positive Impact

Owners of horses with medical problems reported “good” results following nutritional consultation in 92% cases.

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Equine Nutrition Counseling Services Have Positive Impact
A nutritionist can tell you if you're over- or underfeeding or supplementing and address concerns related to weight management or metabolic and other problems. | Photo: iStock
Despite a steadily growing amount of research in the field of equine nutrition, less-than-ideal feeding practices continue to be a problem for horses in a variety of scenarios. From too little forage to too much concentrate and everything in between, horses’ diets can cause a number of health problems. However, a clinical nutritional counseling (CNC) service or an independent equine nutritionist could benefit veterinarians, owners, and horses alike, according to results from a recently conducted a retrospective study.

A group of Italian researchers investigated the most common reasons for referral to the University of Turin Veterinary Hospital’s CNC service.

The team reviewed 61 referral cases, consisting of horses of varied ages and breeds. CNC consultants assessed horses’ body condition, weight, teeth, and chewing capacity. Horse owners provided information on their current feeding programs, as well as information regarding each horse’s housing, medical conditions, medications, vaccination status, and deworming program.

The researchers found the most common reason for referral was related to specific medical problems (67.2%), with chronic weight loss (CWL), chronic diarrhea (CD), and equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) occurring most frequently

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Written by:

Casie Bazay is a freelance and young adult writer, as well as a certified equine acupressure practitioner. She also hosts a blog, The Naturally Healthy Horse. Once an avid barrel racer, she now enjoys giving back to the horses who have given her so much.

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