Thursday, July 14, 2011

Challenging Gastric Health

If you are considering adding a product to your horse’s diet to support your horse’s gastric health, first determine why you want to add it (ulcer prevention/treatment, improved digestion, condition or performance, colic/diarrhea prevention?) and understand how it works – which leads to why it might produce the results you expect. 

I recently took issue with Platinum’s “Take the Challenge” campaign regarding their Platinum Performance® Equine that I feel is pricy and does not meet many basic mineral requirements.
However, Platinum’s new Gastric Support™ Challenge campaign has an intriguing line in their online advertising –“ maintain gastric health by supporting healthy levels of gastric acid and intestinal proteins”.

Read the entire article on my website at

Monday, May 09, 2011

What's This Got To Do With Horses?

The Dog Food Advisor’s approach to choosing dog food is based upon one very important concept… No dog food can ever be magically better than the ingredients that were used to make it

How could it?

Sounds familiar - There are no magic bullets in equine nutrition - the phrase which has been my watch word for several years now.

The other day I picked up a bag of Pelican Bay dog food at Costco - grain free with salmon meal as the first ingredient. I've been feeding it for a few days, my kids like it, the ingredient list seems sane and the cost is an improvement over what I've been paying for other "premium" dog foods.

In looking on the net for feedback from others, I came across a review of this food on the Dog Food Advisor web site. Basic, common sense and addresses some commonly raised pet food questions.

Then I found the About the Dog Food Advisor article - and felt like someone had been reading my mail.

Losing a beloved animal companion in a way that never should have happened is what drove me, also, to learn about nutrition. I trusted my veterinarian (who has since learned with me) and the information provided by feed company representatives. I had a medical background as a paramedic and RN but little grounding in nutrition.

We had slowly (yet innocently) "starved" to death a beloved member of our own family.

Penny's Tragic Story is eerily similar in some ways to Perla's Story.

So what has this got to do with horses?

Most of us who love horses also love our dogs (and kitties and other furry things). Dr. Mike Sagman's Dog Food Advisor is a wonderful resource to help us keep these members of our family healthy.

Thank you Dr. Sagman for the hours you have devoted to advocacy and for sharing your experience and knowledge by creating this invaluable resource. - equine nutrition
information with a Southwest edge - your reference source
for Insulin Resistance and Cushing's Disease - see you in August at
the first ECIR Group No Laminitis! Conference

Friday, April 22, 2011

ECIR Group NO LAMINITIS! Conference Registration

Registration is now open for the First Annual
ECIR Group NO LAMINITIS! Conference.

When: August 5, 6 & 7, 2011
Where: Syracuse, New York

Featured Speakers :
  • Eleanor M. Kellon, VMD
  • Robert M. Bowker, VMD, PhD
  • Members of the ECIR Group Support Team

Registrations received by June 5 qualify for an Early Bird ticket discount price of $150.00. Registration after June 5 will be $175.00

Many plans have been finalized including the Friday Night Meet and Greet and a Saturday Night BBQ thanks to our Gold Benefactors, which currently include Auburn Labs - APF, HorseTech Equine Supplements, Triple Crown Nutrition and Uckele Equine Nutrition.
Please say thanks to these companies next time you contact them.

The NO LAMINITIS! Conference is being hosted by DeMario Farms and Black Horse Consulting in Chittenango, NY. A block of rooms has been set aside at the Days Inn about ten minutes away from DeMario Farms - let them know you are with the ECIR Group when you make your reservation for a ten percent lodging discount. Check out the Where to Stay button for this and other options including camping areas.

Complete conference details are at - your reference source for Insulin Resistance and Cushing's disease
The ECIR Group - help and support for you and your horse
You can also visit the ECIR Group on Facebook.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Help for Strapped Horse Owners

This came from the March 2011 E-newsletter
sent out by Harmony Horseworks Equine Sanctuary in Colorado

1. Don’t panic by waiting so long that the proverbial horse manure has hit the fan. Plan ahead and prepare for this emergency so it isn’t such a big one.
2. Don’t automatically assume you can dump your horse at the local horse rescue. They are overloaded, undercapitalized and understaffed. Your horse has a much better chance through private placement if you commit to do the work.
3. Take photos and write a biography. Be honest about good and bad points. Make a statement about what type of owner would be a best fit. Post the notice at your local feed store, supermarket, anywhere that accepts such advertising. If you don’t know how to create a flyer, ask your friends and relatives. Someone is good at this in your circle of contacts.
4. Create an email and send it out to everyone you know, horseperson or not, and ask them to send it out to everyone they know. Include horse rescues and sanctuaries on your email list as they have a wide list of contacts, too. Make sure you include your veterinarian on your list of potential contacts to spread the work. Again, if you can’t do this, turn to one of your computer-savvy contacts. If you are not, you are in the minority. Most people nowadays know how.
5. Contact the Colorado Unwanted Horse Alliance (CUHA) about help in getting the word out that you are in need. One of their missions is to mitigate these situations. Their contact info is: 1805 S. Bellair Street, Suite 400, Denver CO 80222. Tel: (303) 744-8296. At Rocky Mtn. Horse Expo, they are unveiling their Equidopt web page where people seeking horses to adopt can search their database whose input comes largely from the rescue community in Colorado. If you are a rescue, this is where to put your horses' bios and photos.
6. If you find an adopter, check out the horse’s new home, interview the prospective owner. In other words, do due diligence so you are not just dumping your horse but ensuring a good chance of his future.
7. Contact the Colorado Horse Hay Food Bank. They offer interim and long-term assistance in supplying hay to strapped owners. Contact them through their web site at If you live outside Colorado, you can search the Internet with the keywords “horse hay bank” and come up with a similar organization near you.
8. Watch out for impostors and poseurs who tell you they are going to find a good home for your horses, especially if it is a string you are trying to place, as they are usually killer buyers waiting to haul the horses to Mexico and Canada for a bloody and inhumane death. This is why due diligence is so important.
9. As your local horse rescue for assistance in finding an adopter. They have contacts most people don’t and can help spread the word. They are NOT your first line of defense!
10. If your horse is 30 plus years old, untrained and a backyard pasture ornament, chances are you won’t find a home for him. Failure to thrive on his part means euthanasia is a humane option. Starvation and neglect are not options.

11. If your horse has potential as a companion or a riding/sports partner, do everything you can to give him a chance at a future life.

12. Colorado Horse Rescue has recently implemented a program where they will provide $250 in hay money for strapped horse owners. Information is available at their web site at

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

NO Laminitis! Tee Shirts

Now that the sun is starting to shine in parts of the country, I can finally wear my NO Laminitis! Tee shirt without a jacket over it - and share the message that laminitis can be prevented.

These tee shirts will help support the ECIR Horse web site and the development of a data base for case histories which are currently spread over several sites. These case histories are the largest repository of information on horses with Cushing's disease (PPID) and Insulin Resistance (IR) in the world. Getting them in to a single data base will be a huge step in developing data on these conditions.

More and more horse owners are making changes in their horses's diets and lifestyles before their horses have any problems. Laminitis is often the first visible sign that brings a Cushing's or IR horse to veterinary care - education and up to date information on ECIR Horse and at the Equine Cushings and Insulin Resistance group helps both horse owners and their vets be proactive in avoiding endocrinopathic (hormonal/metabolic) laminitis.

Stop in at the NO Laminitis! site and get your tee shirt in time for spring - and think about surprising your veterinarian at your spring check up appointment with a tee shirt of their own.