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Understanding Winter Laminitis

11/19/2014 11:29 AM

Understanding Winter Laminitis

 

Laminitis has become one of the most heavily researched aspects of lameness because it affects so many horses.  Are some horses more susceptible than others?  How to spot the warning signs and act fast to manage them. 

 

Every winter some owners and caretakers are faced with the onset of obvious foot pain in their horses for no apparent reason. Once a horse has experienced this, it is likely to recur year after year.  What's going on? 

 

The normal reaction of the horse's body during cold exposure may be decreased blood supply to the hoof, sufficient enough to cause...

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Posted in Dr Kellon By Susan Maxwell

The Profound Link between the Equine Gut and Immunity 

We typically think of the intestinal tract as a digestive organ, but it has a very important role in the immune system as well.

 

The immune system of the intestinal tract is called GALT – gut associated lymphoid tissue.  Throughout the intestinal tract there are immune system cells, macrophages and lymphocytes, under the intestinal lining cells. Structures called Peyer's patches are very similar to lymph nodes and are located in the small intestine. Specialized immune cells also line the liver.

 

Microfold cells, or M cells, are located over c...

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Posted in Dr Kellon By Susan Maxwell

Anticipation of winter colic can be nerve-wracking, but being aware of your horse’s increased needs as the weather grows colder gives you a leg up on this seasonal issue, and maybe a chance to avoid it completely.

 

 

Colic can strike at any time and has many known and not so well understood factors. However, fall and winter are particularly high risk and there are several things you can do to decrease your horse's colic jeopardy. As pastures fail in the fall and the horse must switch to a different diet, two major factors are at play. One is the fact there is a change in moisture level of the di...

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Posted in Dr Kellon By Susan Maxwell

How and When to Compensate for Failing Pastures

-        Dr. Eleanor Kellon, VMD, Staff Veterinary Specialist for Uckele Health & Nutrition

 

If you are fortunate enough to have pasture for your horses, you want to get the most out of it that you can. However, as pasture quality and/or quantity starts to drop, it's best to start supplemental feeding sooner rather than later.

 

Observing the horses busy with their noses to the ground is not a good indicator of pasture quality.  It's their natural instinct to diligently search for the best vegetation. Seeing their noses down does not necessarily mean...

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Posted in Dr Kellon By Susan Maxwell

The Many Functions of L-Methionine

 

-        Dr. Eleanor Kellon, Staff Veterinary Specialist for Uckele Health & Nutrition

 

L-methionine is an essential amino acid, meaning it must be present in the diet in adequate amounts because the horse's body cannot synthesize it.  Methionine is one of a unique group of amino acids that contain sulfur.  Sulfur is critical for many biological functions but the mammalian body cannot use sulfur in any other form than what is present in sulfur-containing amino acids.

 

If you have ever heard of methionine it was likely in connection with hoof quality.  L-methion...

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Posted in Dr Kellon By Susan Maxwell

The Importance of L-Lysine in the Equine Diet

-        Dr. Eleanor Kellon, Staff Veterinary Specialist for Uckele Health & Nutrition

 

 

L-lysine is an amino acid, the basic building unit of proteins.  Amino acids are hooked together like beads on a chain to form proteins, according to sequences encoded in the DNA.   Every bead on the chain is an amino acid.

 

Proteins are much more than just muscle tissue.  Enzymes, antibodies, DNA/RNA,  hemoglobin, cellular receptors, cytokines and many hormones are all identified as proteins. Next to water, protein is the most abundant substance in all body tissu...

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Posted in Dr Kellon By Susan Maxwell

How to Relieve Your Horse’s Itch

-        Dr. Eleanor Kellon, Staff Veterinary Specialist for Uckele Health & Nutrition

 

Few owners escape having to deal with the issue of itch.  It is probably the most common dermatologic complaint.  Itch is distressing to the horse and they can often cause significant trauma to the skin from scratching.  The tail base, mane/neck, face and belly are most commonly involved, but itch can strike anywhere on the body.

 

Itch is an interesting sensation.  It is closely related to pain and the nerves carrying the signal share the same pathways to the spinal cord and br...

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Posted in Dr Kellon By Susan Maxwell

Help for Thumps

8/21/2014 2:54 PM

Help for Thumps

-       Dr. Eleanor Kellon, Staff Veterinary Specialist for Uckele Health & Nutrition

 

Thumps is the common name for a disorder called synchronous diaphragmatic flutter.  In this condition there is a visible, rhythmic, involuntary, hiccup-like contraction visible in the horse's flank, behind the last rib.  It is caused by the phrenic nerve causing the diaphragm to move in sync with the heart rate.

 

By far the most common scenario is that thumps is triggered by exercise.  It is most common in endurance horses.  It may also be seen in racehorses given prerace furosemide (Lasix).  La...

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Posted in Dr Kellon By Susan Maxwell

The Benefits of Spirulina

8/13/2014 9:38 AM

The Benefits of Spirulina

-        Dr. Eleanor Kellon, Staff Veterinary Specialist for Uckele Health & Nutrition

 

Spirulina platensis is a fresh water blue green algae with documented (in vitro and in vivo in laboratory animals) potent anti-histaminic, anti-inflammatory and immune system moderating effects but with a high safety profile, being used as a dietary staple in some areas of the world, and by the World Health Organization as a protein supplement for malnourished children in underdeveloped nations.

 

The immunomodulating effect involves a shift in antibody class toward IgG and IgA, and aw...

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Posted in Dr Kellon By Susan Maxwell

Hydrating Your Horse on the Road

-        Dr. Eleanor Kellon, Staff Veterinary Specialist for Uckele Health & Nutrition

 

You have been traveling several hours with your horse and arrive at your destination pressed for time.  You unload, briefly offer some water but it's refused.  You tack up quickly, planning to offer water again at your first break, but your horse refuses then too.  It's very hot, your horse is sweating heavily, but won't touch the water all day.

 

Some horses are notorious for drinking poorly on the road but virtually any horse may decide to boycott strange water if they find an...

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Posted in Dr Kellon By Susan Maxwell
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