SPILLERS Showcases Research on Caring for Senior Horses

SPILLERS® presented its world-leading collaborative research on the care of senior horses at the Australasian Equine Science Society’s Science Symposium earlier this month.
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June 26, 2018– SPILLERS® presented its world-leading collaborative research on the care of senior horses at the Australasian Equine Science Society’s Science Symposium earlier this month. Professor Pat Harris, head of the WALTHAM® Equine Studies Group, which underpins the science behind the SPILLERS® brand, was one of the invited speakers at this biennial international event.

As the proportion of aged horses within the general equine population appears to be increasing in many countries there is growing interest in determining the best ways to feed and manage them. Professor Harris’s presentation provided an overview of some of the more recent collaborative research that WALTHAM has conducted on the senior horse. This work is helping to improve nutrition-related knowledge to enhance the health and quality of life of senior horses.

WALTHAM’s journey into the feeding and management of the senior horse started in earnest with a PhD programme with Nottingham Trent University in the early 2000s into age-related changes in taste and feeding behaviour in the stabled horse. Studies continued at Michigan University looking at the effect of age on digestive function followed by the effect of diet on glucose and insulin dynamics.

Collaborative work is currently ongoing at the Universities of Minnesota, Michigan, Kentucky and Melbourne into the role of diet on tissue insulin resistance and the insulin response to an oral starch or sugar rich meal, as well as the gut microflora in the older horse. The SPILLERS® team has also been working with colleagues at the universities of Aberystwyth, Surrey and Liverpool, studying the microflora of the older horse/pony and its response to dietary changes

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