Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Nutrition: sick horse

Contributor(s): Derek Cuddeford, Zoe Davies, David Frape, Deborah Lucas, Katie Williams (nee Lugsden)

Trauma/sepsis and renal disease

Trauma/sepsis

  • Higher protein Nutrition: protein (12-16%) ensuring essential amino acid Amino acids requirements are met, vitamins B, E and C Nutrition: vitamins, selenium and energy Nutrition: energy requirements to ensure wound healing, immune response and reduce tissue catabolism.
  • A compound feed containing 14% protein given with timothy and lucerne hay has shown to bring about better blood characteristics and weight gains in sick horses than one containing 9% protein.
  • Malnutrition increases morbidity and mortality in these situations.
  • Lack of appetite may be a problem and this may be stimulated with carrots, apples and fresh green grass.
  • Poor teeth may indicate a need for wet mashes and chop or chaff.
  • Use concentrated nutrient sources to provide a balanced diet in a small volume of feed.

Renal disease

  • Low protein, calcium and phosphorus, but with a Ca:P ratio >1:1 required, although important to ensure essential amino acid requirements are met by using an amino acid balancer.
  • Based on low protein hay.
  • Avoid legume hays and alfalfa (high calcium and protein content) and wheat bran (high phosphorus content).

Hepatic disease and enterolithiasis

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Cardiac disease and diarrhea

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Horses in poor condition and obese horses

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Geriatric horses and horses with rectal lacerations/vaginal surgery

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Laminitis and Equine Rhabdomyolysis Syndrome (ERS)

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Frape D (2004) Equine Nutrition and Feeding. 3rd edn. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford, England. ISBN: 1405105984.
  • Bercier D L (2003) How to Use Parenteral Nutrition in Practice. In: Proc 49th AAEP Convention. pp 268-273.
  • Longland A C & Cairns A J (2000) Fructans and their implications in the aetiology of laminitis. In: Proc 3rd Dodson & Horrell Int Conference on Feeding Horses.
  • Harris P A (1999) Feeding and management advice for 'tying-up', azoturia, Monday morning disease, equine rhabdomyolysis syndrome, etc. In: Proc BEVA Specialist Day on Behaviour and Nutrition.


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