Thanks to advancements in medicine, diet and more, humans and their companion animals are living longer than ever before. Like with humans and other animals, horses need advanced protocols for maintaining their health through their more prolonged senior years.
Studies have shown that horses (as well as other animals and humans) have an increased susceptibility to disease, a more difficult time getting over infections, are more prone to vaccination reactions and are more likely to develop cancer, digestive upset, arthritis and other ailments as their age advances.
While it is becoming widely accepted that changes in diet can help the aging process in humans, some of the same theories can be applied to horses. For example, horses age 20 and older have increased levels of inflammation. While anti-inflammatory drugs, such as NSAIDS, can be used to combat inflammation and make the horse more comfortable, dietary changes may help owners take a more proactive approach.
For example, a study compared Flavonoid (quercetin) and polyphenolic compounds (curcuminoids, resveratrol, pterostilbene and hydroxypterostilbene) to phenylbutazone (Bute) and flunixin meglumine (Banamine) and found that at specific concentrations, natural compounds had comparable or better effects on inflammation than their NSAID counterparts.
Read the full article by Dr. Amanda Adams of the Gluck Equine Research Center at Stable Management.
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