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Garlic
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 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 03:34 am
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Thanks Dr Deb I will do a search on the description of choke & follow your other suggestions.  I wasn't clear in telling you as soon as the vet arrived to assess my horse she used the stethoscope to listen to his abdomen & chest & already determined he had aspiration pneumonia from being left with the obstruction overnight & his own saliva banking up on the obstruction & then going down the trachea (at least that's what she told me & I believed her, but whether or not she was just covering herself for what was to come, I'll never know).  He also was very dehydrated because he couldn't drink any water & the vet did say he might have to go on a drip, but after the obstruction was partially cleared & he arrived at hospital, he did drink enough water on his own to hydrate him enough to not need the I.V.

I guess regardless of what happened in the past, the important thing is how it is managed if it does happen again, which it very well could.  I definitely couldn't cope with another $1700 vet bill again.  After reading your response I would feel more comfortable next time around having him monitored & put on a drip if he risked dangerous dehydration.  Last time, the biggest cost overall was the anti-biotics because he was on 3 different types (Metronidazole, Gentamicin & Penicillin).  If the vet was genuine about his saliva being the cause of the aspiration pneumonia then I guess that's a risk again if he was just monitored & allowed to "self resolve", not sure, what do you think?

As far as adding oil to his feed & him getting too fat, he is on the lean side at the moment & could use some extra weight which would be good for now, but long term I understand it might be a problem.  I will consult the Australian Horseman/Long-Time Arabian Breeder for advice so I will email you privately, thankyou.

DrDeb
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 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 07:58 am
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Yes, Emma, it could very well have been caused by his own saliva backing up. If he already had symptoms of aspiration pneumonia before he was intubated, it could not very well have been caused by any action the vet took.

What I would do if I were you is look around for the experienced old-fashioned type of veterinarian rather than the young cutting-edge just-out-of-school type. The experienced practitioner will know when there is blood in the streets, and when there is not. In other words, they tend to not over-react nor either over-treat, and they will keep the budget in mind as much as the health of the animal -- not sacrificing the latter at all, but looking for ways to get the job done more reasonably. If my vet told me I owed seventeen hundred bucks for a choke, I'd either laugh at him or shoot him, I'm not sure which.

And that's in full cognizance of how expensive fancy antibiotics actually are. But there has to come a balance between what the treatment costs vs. the value of the animal. In the old days, if that kind of expenditure was really the only alternative, most owners would have just said "put him down". And as far as that goes, $1700 would be beyond my own ability to pay, and I would HAVE to say "put him down."

So there are two things to do: one is to prepare yourself for the loss of the horse. And the other thing is to do all you can to prevent another choke. This is where getting in contact with an expert mash-cooker is so important; he won't get pneumonia again if he doesn't choke again. So I'll be looking for your EMail, and keep a pretty close eye on that horse in the meantime, as I'm sure you will.

Also, by the way, just as an afterthought: if the horse is on an automatic waterer, do go check to make sure it's working at full throttle. And if it's one of those types with a tiny little cup, I would for the next several months go ahead and provide a tank or the cut-off bottom of a plastic 50-gallon drum so he can drink freely. Automatic waterers with tiny cups force the horse to slake a thirst as if he were forced to drink out of a shot glass....very frustrating for him, and encourages the horse to water less than he should. Likewise if it's been cold enough to freeze in Canberra, make sure there isn't a sheet of ice on his bucket and/or the line to his automatic waterer isn't clogged or frozen.

Another thought is this: out of what type of container does this horse eat his chaff or hay? Hay-feeders are mostly godforsaken things. So do be sure that the feed pan or feeding area is at ground level. It is much more difficult for a horse to coordinate chewing, swallowing, salivation and peristaltic motion if he swallows the bolus with his head higher than his withers. -- Dr. Deb

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 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 08:44 am
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Thanks, Pauline - I'll do a bit more research and check with vets and let you know. My friend has previously used it and it has worked wonders, completely stopping her horse from itching.

Also, does anyone know how I can get hold of the Poison Plants book & the Birdie Book here in the UK? I'm thinking that it would do me (and my horses) good to read them both...! :o)

DrDeb
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 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 09:37 pm
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Izzy, we do have a distributor in the UK, Pippa Lang....her contact info is in the bookstore section -- just look for it when you look up either the Poison Plants book or the Birdie Book; it tells you that if you're in the UK, to contact Pippa first as a courtesy.

Now, I think she has both in stock, but if she doesn't and then she says 'just buy it through the website,' you can of course do that. Thanks for your interest in getting this information. -- Dr. Deb

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 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 09:40 pm
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...deleted superfluous info as Dr Deb beat me to it...! A chance to say thank you though for speedy delivery of my audio lessons.

Last edited on Tue Mar 17th, 2009 09:41 pm by Charlotte

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 Posted: Wed Mar 18th, 2009 01:46 am
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...well the vet did quote me at the paddock it would cost around $1000 but meant what was to come, not what was already done (which I didn't realise was already $500).  After ringing my husband we decided $1000 was alot of money but we know horses are expensive & it was better than my horse dying.  My horse was given to me after retiring from pacing so he initially didn't cost me anything.  The in-hospital part ended up being $1200 & the vet gave me the endoscopy 1/2 price because she felt bad about the accumulating cost.  So when I went to pick him up I got hit with the $1700 total, too late to decide if he was worth it or not, & luckily it hasn't broken us but it does make my hubby shudder if the topic comes up.  We do have a vet in the area who is one of those old-timers you spoke of, & spoke to her on the phone & she said it sounded too bad for her to come out as he might need hospitalisation.

Anyway, like I said, it's what happens now that counts.  I'm about to learn all about mash-cooking.

The trough situation at the agistment isn't a problem, it's a big self-filling one that 6 or more horses could drink from at once (if they liked each other).  The feed container I use is a tuff tub & I always put it on the ground as someone told me quite a while ago it is the natural feeding position for the horse & their dental mechanism can be thrown right out of whack if they're feeding with their head too high. 

Thankyou so much for all your help, you're wonderful =)

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 Posted: Sun Mar 22nd, 2009 11:28 am
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Hi

Can we talk about Garlic again please.

What exactly are the symptoms of garlic poisoning?

I was warned not to feed my head shaker garlic by his traditional Chinese herbalist who was treating him. He is better now and I don't feed garlic anyway, but I am curious to know what the effects might be on the horses fed with garlic supplements. Many, many are fed it here - their owners believing it to be beneficial - what a waste of their money!

PS I really MUST buy the poisonous plants book now! I will try to get it through Pippa

Jacquie

DrDeb
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 Posted: Sun Mar 22nd, 2009 07:12 pm
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Garlic causes pernicious anemia in horses.

Read all about it in the PP book! We sent you an EMail this morning with directions on how to get it from Pippa Lang in England. Thanks for your interest, Jacqui. With all the British mad for gardening, a kind of national passion, I expect you'll specially enjoy it. I kind of have a fond feeling for some of those weeds, because when in flower, if you look close, most all of them are, in fact, beautiful, and I tried to make the photography in the book reflect that. Cheers -- Dr. Deb

tuis mum
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 Posted: Sun Mar 22nd, 2009 08:12 pm
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dr deb i have found a product quite appealing called hemp pellets aparently it is feed all over america and canada according to the sales lady. Is this safe? as i notice she didnt have any scientific studies to back it up. The benifits it advertises are very appealing especially the amounts of protein, fiber and fatty acids as this apears to be all the product it made up of and obviously is THC free. Do you have and oppinion on this product? and is it safe?

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 Posted: Sun Mar 22nd, 2009 09:59 pm
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Great, I will contact Pippa about the book. Thanks for that. I suppose we really are a nation of gardeners!

Presumably the pernicious anaemia causes the horses to be energy less etc - as in humans? Is it reversible once the garlic is stopped being fed? Is it accumulative over time increasing the effects?

I am just amazed about garlic being poisonous to horses, to be frank. I don't feed garlic as I said, but loads of my horsey acquaintances do, thinking they are being good horse owners - and it is added to many chaffs and all kinds of other feeds too as a 'beneficial' extra too! It really is quite shocking.

Sorry to go on, but how can this be allowed? Why is no-one stopping this?

Jacquie

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 Posted: Sun Mar 22nd, 2009 10:04 pm
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Tui -- hemp (Cannabis sativa) in most forms is illegal in the U.S. I don't know about Canada. Hemp pellets are not widely fed here -- I have never known or heard of anyone feeding them. Hemp products are disapproved of here because to make hemp products, you first have to grow hemp. To do that in the U.S. takes a special license, for the reason that hemp is marijuana.

The pellets may or may not contain the psychoactive ingredient that makes Mary Jane "dope". I don't know because I've never seen the lady's product, or any analysis of it; but that pellets should be free of cannabinol and other toxins contained in hemp is unlikely, since all parts of the plant are known to contain them. Horses and cattle that graze hemp get "high" -- just as humans do when they eat brownies made with marijuana. Clinical signs of poisoning by cannabinol and the more than 60 other toxins that have been isolated from this plant include central nervous system depression, hyperexcitability, vomiting, salivation, muscle tremors, and ataxia (c.f. Knight and Walter). Horses are unpredictable enough to most people without adding anything that might be psychoactive to their diet.

I am not sure what 'THC' is -- some undesirable pollutant? Who says hemp is not grown with chemicals? 'Organic hemp' -- I am not sure where you could get that.

Again, Tui: What you need is two things:

(1) A better education -- better basic information -- about what kind of an animal a horse is and what it actually needs to thrive; and

(2) Good grass, good hay, good water, and a trace-mineral block.

Incidentally, when I say "block" I mean the kind we have here in North America, that is a cube 10 inches on an edge and you set it in their stall in a rubber pan and let them lick it. The trace mineral block contains all the trace minerals a horse needs, unless you have some kind of extreme situation -- the lady who wrote in here to say 'mineral blocks don't work' was, I think, thinking of a different type of system. I agree that the idea of having the horse choose on his own what minerals he 'needs' is totally fallacious; if you offer little bowls of minerals separately, they will eat them one by one in order of saltiness. So the big unit block works because to get salt, they have to take all the minerals at once. They safely excrete anything they might not need.

In New Zealand, Jenny Paterson offers an excellent magnesium supplement that also has some other stuff in it. Since NZ does have a problem with low-Mg soils, and thus low-Mg content in grass and hay, and hypomagnesaemia is in fact frequently seen in horses and cattle on farms where magnesium is not supplemented, that is one supplement I would probably use if I were trying to grow horses there. But again, the RATIONAL course would be to first have your soil, grass, and hay assayed.

....and now as an afterthought, I'm going to revise what I said above to say I think really you need a third thing too: you need to quit worrying so much that your horses are not going to be OK. Tui, do you have some particular issues around death? Because as I said in the very first reply to you, if you provide good feed and water, your horses have as great a chance of being JUST FINE as anybody else's. You do not need supplements unless you have a particular reason to think they are called for, and you cannot raise horses by means of supplements. 

And, more than all Tui -- you cannot control every detail. If you don't give yourself some interior room on this, you will not be able to give your horses room, either, and I promise you, that will screw up their mental and psychological development and get so much in the way of their ability to be racehorses that you will have defeated your livestock yourself, long before they ever get to the track. Please give this suggestion some thought.

-- Dr. Deb

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 Posted: Sun Mar 22nd, 2009 10:41 pm
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Dr deb thanks for the quick reply..
The lady that supplies the organic hemp pellets is attending your course at the papakura rsa on Thursday perhaps you could chat to her about what she is selling she is also closely following Jenny's products. THC is the chemical that causes the person or animal to get high.

' I think i am being misunderstood completely...my horses are on pasture full time they do not have stalls they live on rhy grass which is   and therefore there is hardly any nutrition in it only crap it is very rare to find anything else in nz besides this awful grass . Unfortunately they have no other option until our pasture is re-grassed with appropriate horse friendly grass in the autumn.

As i mentioned before i do feed all 3 of jenny Patterson's products including the mag supplement you are referring to which is a magnesium/calcium supplement called alleviate and also a toxin binder called  detoxify to protect them as much as i can from the endopythes etc this is also a jenny Patterson product. I do not believe my horses would get everything they need off thirty year old rhy grass and this is why i feed Jenny's third product which is a complete mineral supplement to which they have responded greatly to. Horse need protein am i right? What i am trying to find is a safe protein product to feed i do not have access to decent hay until i have grown my own so am looking to give them protein in the feeds. I do not believe you can train any horse as hard as racing, endurance, three day eventing etc on grass and hay so i have made my decision to feed what i feed and am trying to find a good protein source thats not going to be detrimental to their health.

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 Posted: Mon Mar 23rd, 2009 12:12 am
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Well so for my first post here I am probably going to get in trouble. I mean no disrespect to Dr. Deb , but I have been feeding my horse Hemp for close to a year now and she is doing great on it. The daily dose for a horse her size (14.2) hands is 1 oz. per day. The company who makes the product is in Canada because it is still illegal to grow in the states.

The biggest misconception is that hemp IS maijuana.. Even though they both come from Cannabis sativa L., the varieties that are used to make hemp products (seed, fiber, etc.) and those that are used to make marijuana (flowering tops and leaves) are distinctly different. They are scientifically different and are cultivated in very different ways.

Here is a little more information about its benifits:  Hemp seed is a highly nutritious source of protein and essential fatty acids (EFAs) Many populations have grown hemp for its seed -- most of them eat it as `gruel' which is a lot like oatmeal. Hemp seeds do not contain any marijuana and they do not get you `high.'

Hemp seed protein closely resembles protein as it is found in the human blood. It is easy to digest; many patients who have trouble digesting food are given hemp seed by their doctors. Hemp seed was once called `edestine' and was used by scientists as the model for vegetable protein.

Hemp seed oil provides the human body with two important EFAs, omega-3 and omega-6 . Hempseed is the only seed which contains these oils with almost no saturated fat. As a supplement to the diet, these oils can reduce the risk of heart disease. It is because of these oils that birds will live much longer if they eat hemp seed.

With hemp seed, a vegan or vegetarian can survive and eat virtually no saturated fats. One handful of hemp seed per day will supply adequate protein and essential oils for an adult.

If this stuff was marijuana trust me cusoms would never let it across the border.  The product is tested on the Canadian side and then again on the U.S. side.

 

 I hope I haven't overstepped any boundries posting this info. Just for the record I am in no way associated with anyone or any company who makes these products, I am just a horse owner that has used this with great sucsess with my horse.

I also use Hemp protein powder daily as a vegan sorce of protein, I buy the product at my local health food store,it has become fairly common to see now, attesting to the fact that this is not the illegal form that can get you high.


Ok I guess I have said enough, and again I hope I didn't break any rules. If I did I apologize.

DrDeb
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 Posted: Mon Mar 23rd, 2009 08:37 am
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Dear Mustang -- why would you think you were going to get in trouble? I hope you did not come here looking for any.

Folks, here's the deal. I am not a botanist, and I am not a nutritionist. But I am a scientist -- a biologist -- capable of discriminating likely truth from likely exaggeration or falsehood. I am also an experienced horse owner. It is from this basis that I have given advice in this thread. What I have been urging is, above all, common sense and requisite caution.

In writing the Poison Plants book, I have acted as an "intelligent compiler of information." I rely on the printed literature, and I expect that you also, Mustang, will do that. "Printed literature" specifically excludes advertisements, testimonials, what your neighbor told you about her favorite supplement, and, especially, the statements made by any commissioned salesperson. The "literature" which I quote is the scientific literature, meaning papers published in juried or peer-refereed journals or books of the same level.

It is certainly kosher here, though, for you to tell us your personal experiences, i.e. for example that your horses are fed hemp pellets (apparently in small amounts) with no apparent ill effects. We are not equipped here, blind as we are, to assess what you mean by "no ill effects" -- in other words, I don't know what your level of horsemanship may be, what work you expect of your horses, or how sane I would think your horses were if I were to meet them. But I am not inclined to press this point, because at the very least, they haven't broken your ribs or stove your head in.

As to the rest of what you have to say....well, I had to smile about the long-lived birds. Yeah, I imagine there are still quite a few "old birds" around -- the same guys who used to sit in the dorm smokin' Mother Nature 35 years ago when I was an undergraduate. They're sure as heck old birds now! Got hair in their ears!

Because honey -- I don't care what anyone has told you -- Cannabis sativa is dope. In any way, shape, manner, or form; no matter how grown; no matter where grown; and grown for whasoever purpose, it's dope. A botanist, upon observing hemp grown in Cuba, hemp grown in Canada, hemp grown in Oregon, hemp grown in Kansas or Kamschatka, will still tell you, 'this is Cannabis sativa'. This is WHY you can't buy hemp pellets in the U.S. of good ol' A: because unless you assay every batch of pellets, you can't tell how much poison they may contain.

Now, it is true that in any poisonous species, the toxin content can vary by region, season, and local conditions (i.e. droughthy or freezing or not), and can vary also according to how the plant is treated (i.e. spray it with Roundup and between the time it is sprayed and the time it actually dies, it may have twice the normal amount of toxin in it). So perhaps what you're trying to say is that the hemp pellets you feed are made from plants grown so as to have low toxic potency. But again, the only way to really know this would be to sample the product and have it assayed.

And again, Mustang, what I have been saying to Tui is this: why are you feeding this stuff at all? Do you have evidence that on your property, the grass that you can grow does not provide adequate levels of Omega-3 fatty acids? Are you seeing signs (in your horses or other horses being raised near your farm) of deficiency, or a high incidence of skin cancer, hardening of the arteries, idiopathic allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, or other diseases that have a strong inflammatory component? For it is these conditions that would justify the feeding of supplemental omega-3's. It should be noted that the MAIN reason that omega-3 supplements are being touted for North Americans is our propensity to OVER-consume the inflammation-promoting omega-6's, which we ingest whenever we eat fried foods (French fries, KFC, potato chips, etc.). There is no evidence that we are DEFICIENT in omega-3's, only that the ratio of omega-3's to omega-6's in our typical HUMAN diet is forced out of balance by our liking for Mickey Dee's. So the need for supplemental omega-3's has no relevance at all to horsekeeping.

Please remember also, the horse's "daily required amount" of each nutrient, and the proportions and balance among all the nutrients, is different than what would be good for us humans. You must not treat a horse, in this sense, as if it were a member of your family. As I say again and again in the Poison Plants book, what's good for the goose is often fatal to the gander; or at least a waste of money.

Once again: please, people, go to reliable sources. Read Andrew Weil's newsletters; he tells you straight (and at that he sells supplements, but does not in the newsletter "push" them). PLEASE read Weil's "Healthy Aging". This will greatly help you to put things in perspective.

And Tui: yes, I do understand your problem with the ryegrass. I've said before that you are well advised to give the Alleviate and the toxin-binder in your situation, and I can advocate Jenny's products and her line of thought because I've seen the positive results that have come from her experiments in taking horses off of ryegrass.

Nevertheless -- you cannot feed the horses hemp and say that's going to be good for them. Notice that Mustang is feeding amounts so small that they could not possibly nourish a lactating mare. Also, if there ARE any poisons in the hemp, be aware that they carry right through to the milk (c.f. Knight and Walter); and be aware also that it usually takes much less total toxin, of whatever sort, to poison the foal as the dam. Therefore you would want to be twice as careful feeding a lactating mare as a horse in work.

From what you have most recently said, I now do not understand WHAT your horses must be eating. If you can't get hay, and you don't want to put your animals on the ryegrass pasture that you have, what are you feeding them? Surely it is hay, either grass of some sort or lucerne. Good grass is grown in New Zealand, and I know this because I have seen it. Particularly, you can buy lucerne of any type or quality in NZ, which is one of the world's great centers for the development of new strains of lucerne. Our correspondent Pauline Moore has had awful trouble with lucerne where she lives, in Australia, the effects being primarily due to excessive phytoestrogen content; but I can also attest that you can feed 100% lucerne to some horses and get into no trouble at all. When you get your Poison Plants book, you will see that a lot depends upon the particular cultivar that you buy. Normally one does feed lucerne to the lactating mare, and lucerne is the quickest way to get high amounts of protein into a horse. If lucerne can't work for you, then you should turn to bagged feeds that are specifically formulated for the lactating mare.

I am well aware that good hay is going to cost you money, as does any type of bagged feed. So the issue is, I think, not really that you CAN'T get suitable feed; the issue is that suitable feed is expensive.

Well, that's the way of it with horses, isn't it. They don't call racing "the sport of kings" for nothing. So you will just have to go to the extraordinary effort to find a source for good hay, and you will just have to come up with the dough. As I have said, I would far rather see you spend your hard-earned money on buying good hay than on buying supplements of any type, except those specifically required in your situation. -- Dr. Deb

 

 

tuis mum
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 Posted: Mon Mar 23rd, 2009 08:56 am
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Again thanks for your reply. i will steer away from the hemp...lol.  What i meant about pasture is that my horses are out to pasture 24/7 they do get hay every day but it is the hay from the property and we are in the process of re-grassing the property so untill that is done they have to graze what they have for now. thanks again for the info i have found a good breeding and young stock feed from coprice.


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