Thursday, September 26, 2013

Mottled Muzzle Puzzle???

As a veterinarian who works for an animal nutrition company, I frequently have the opportunity to interact with customers who have questions about health issues that may be nutritionally related. I frequently hear from horse owners whose horse has developed white spots on their face, usually around the muzzle and/or eyes. The conversation typically goes something like this: “My horse suddenly developed white spots on his muzzle and around his eyes. I read on the internet how this was called vitiligo or leukoderma and is caused by a deficiency of vitamin A (or copper or zinc or iron or vitamin D or….). How could this be since he is on Strategy® horse feed and excellent pasture, and I know he is getting all the vitamins and minerals he needs? I tried to find more information about this online, but couldn’t find much that was very scientific. When I asked my vet, she told me that it was a cosmetic problem that won’t affect his overall health and that not much is known about what causes it or how to treat it. I’m confused, and don’t know what to believe or what I can do about it. Can you help me?”

The confusion is understandable. There are at least two distinct conditions which result in virtually identical outward clinical appearance: depigmentation (loss of color) of pigmented bare (no hair cover) skin. As a result, there is a great deal of uncertainty about which term should be applied and what the inciting cause of the depigmentation may be. Therefore the terms “leukoderma” and “vitiligo” are often used interchangeably, even though leukoderma and vitiligo are definitely not the same. And misinformation propagated on the Internet further muddies the waters.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Purina ambassador Guest Post – Beezie Madden

Purina has been our choice of feeds through the past two Olympics, numerous World Cup Finals, including one fantastic win and through the development of many top horses. I have been honored to represent Purina® products since 2007 and this relationship has always been about providing the best for the horses. John and I made a decision to feed Purina® products for an entire year before signing a sponsorship deal, to make sure we were happy, our staff was happy and most importantly, our horses were happy. At the end of that test year, we were convinced that Purina offered products, research and service that we could feel confident lending our names to.

We always say that winning is just a byproduct of what we do every day outside of the show ring. We strive to provide the best in care for the horses in everything from shoeing to vet-work to consistent training. Our feed program naturally fits into this. Purina products, especially the Enrich Plus™ ration balancing feed we've been using recently, have offered our horses consistent quality. It is great that our staff can be secure knowing that whether we're at our home farm in Cazenovia, New York, our winter home in Wellington, Florida or at any of the many other shows we frequent throughout a show season, when we pick up a bag of feed for our horses, we know the feed will have the same quality products inside.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Purina Ambassador Laura Kraut – Guest Post

For as long as I can remember the red and white checkerboard has been part of my life. We fed my first pony Purina® horse feed. I’m not sure which type we used, but I remember the checkerboard on the label and the great smell when we opened a new bag.  My pony loved it of course, and I was very proud to feed him grain made by such a famous company. Now, many years later (more than I want to count) my horses are all fed Purina® products. From my pony, “Siamese Kat,” at the barn down the road, to “Cedric” at the games in Beijing and countless international competitions, Purina has been with me every stride along the way. 

My stable in Wisconsin was a test barn for Strategy® horse feed over 20 years ago. I found this to be an interesting process during which my sister and barn manager Mary Elizabeth and I learned a great deal about equine nutrition. We were happy to be part of the team who helped bring the Strategy® formula to market, and now, many years later Purina® Strategy® horse feeds have provided over a billion feedings to horses across the country. We also utilize other grains such as Equine Senior® horse feed, Ultium® Competition Horse Formula, Omolene#100® and Omolene #400® horse feeds and the recent addition of Strategy®Healthy Edge® horse feed. Horses have different nutritional needs depending on their age and level of work, but we have found that these products meet the needs of everyone in the barn.