Dr. Chris Blevins with Possible Feed Issues for Your Horse

(Dr. Chris Blevins) Hello and welcome to Horsing Around. I’m Dr. Chris Blevins at Kansas State University Veterinary Health Center. Today we’re going to talk about something that could be bad for your horse, even though you do this with your horse every day. That’s feed them. Horse feed in general is really safe and we don’t have any concerns when you feed your horse at daily basis. But just some things to kind of think about in your everyday feeding of your horse and things that could cause issues with your horse if they would get exposed to it. One would be generally just some fungus in the feed. Even fungus that could be even on the corn. The fungus that can be on the corn could even cause neurologic issues on your horse and some of those cannot be reversed very well if a horse would ingest enough of it. Molding type corn would be something we’d want to prevent the horse from consuming especially over a period of time. The other one is just general molds and dust that could be either in grains, but also in hay or even just out in the pasture just because you’re around the road. Now with those, we’re more concerned with, yes; molds that can definitely cause issues other than that of neurologic, maybe even cause colic in your horse. The other thing would be just the dust and molds that they consume or inhale while by that feed, because, as we know, horses do breathe while they’re eating and through their nose, and that can get into their lungs and can cause inflammation sometimes issues like heat. I think keeping track of that or knowing the quality of feed is also beneficial in preventing certain diseases. The other one is sometimes people kind of don’t know a lot about until the horse would be exposed and that’s ionophores, or monensin or rumensin is some different names for it. They use that mainly in cow to prevent different type of microorganisms from causing issues with them; in addition it helps with increasing their average daily gains and consumption. But in horses, they are very sensitive to this toxin or ionophore and that can cause issues, cardio-vascular, meaning their heart, and their blood supply. In addition, some horses could even die if they get enough of it. I think that is something to be aware of. Now, how would they get that? I think the biggest thing that we need to remember, most feed companies, if they feed multi-species; it’s always a potential concern. Cattle feed; before they would make a horse feed is always a possibility especially if they have an ionophore in their cattle feeds at their company. You need to ask questions and see if they do a wash out to try to make sure that there’s nothing in that horse feed before they make the feed for you. The other thing would be if they’ve been with cattle in the trough. They left something in the trough and have issues. Then that would be something you need keep in mind too. I think the biggest thing, make sure your feed is fresh; it smells good; the horse is acting fine; don’t see any molds; keep your feed fresh; don’t store for long periods of time to cause molds. If you ever have any issues or concerns, consult your veterinarian or give us a call here at Kansas State University Veterinary Health Center. I’m Dr. Chris Blevins for Horsing Around. We’ll see you around.

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