Senior horse feeds have now been on the market for more than 20 years and their use has contributed significantly to the extended lifespan horses enjoy today. But the usefulness of senior diets is not limited to horses in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. Senior horse feeds can also be a critical tool in providing nutritional support to horses of all ages that may be affected by a range of medical conditions. High-quality senior horse feeds are highly digestible, and can provide complete and balanced nutrition to horses that could be experiencing health challenges.
Following are five situations when veterinarians should consider recommending a senior horse feed.
Chewing is the first stage of the digestive process. Effective chewing breaks down fibers and grinds grains into a smaller particle size making them more susceptible to acidic and enzymatic digestive processes. Chewing also stimulates saliva production. Saliva contains digestive enzymes and acid buffering agents, and also moistens and lubricates ingesta aiding in bolus formation.
Horses of any age can experience dental abnormalities that result in difficult or inadequate chewing. Malocclusions, missing incisors or molars, and tooth root abscess are just a few dental conditions that could affect the chewing process. Senior feeds were designed to help overcome the dental issues frequently seen in older horses. They are generally nutritionally complete (including adequate fiber to eliminate the necessity of feeding hay or pasture grass), highly digestible, and break down easily to form a mash when mixed with water. All of these attributes can benefit horses of any age with dental abn