7. July 2011
Did you know they vary from State to State?
According to the National Research Council, an animal dietary supplement is defined as "a substance for oral consumption by horses, dogs and cats, whether in or on feed or offered separately, intended for specific benefit to the animal by means other than provision of nutrients recognized as essential or for provision of essential nutrients for intended effect on the animal beyond normal nutritional needs, but not including legally defined drugs."6
Nutrients and nutrient supplements are regulated by various agencies including the FDA's CVM and the individual states where the products are sold. Guidance for the state agencies is provided by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).5 AAFCO writes and revises model bills, which include food and drug regulations set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations and are often the basis of state feed regulations. The AAFCO official publication, published yearly, includes continuous revisions and additions to approved ingredients and animal feed additives. Recently, AAFCO took further action regarding nutraceuticals, establishing the Enforcement Strategy for Marketed Ingredients, which addresses unapproved ingredients and ingredients with unapproved claims.5
Some manufacturers have introduced animal products from their position within the human nutraceutical market. Many of these products have emerged in the horse market via a bridge from the human supplement market with the assumption that all species need the supplement sometimes without scientific data supporting its efficacy, bioavailability and nutritional purpose in horses. Equine practitioners should scrutinize those products before recommending their use in horses.
The National Animal Supplement Council (NASC), formed in 2001, is a nonprofit industry group consisting of manufacturers, suppliers, veterinarians, dealers and animal owners dedicated to protecting and enhancing the health of horses and companion animals. The group's aim is to place safety standards on animal supplements and on the manufacturers and to promote the use of safe ingredients in their products. The NASC Quality Seal Program is awarded to those manufacturers that meet the organization's standards (for more information, visit http://www.nasc.cc/).
However, NASC does not require companies to perform efficacy studies on their products or verify that scientific research data are available proving the products are effective for the benefit(s) they claim in horses.
Note, numerous reputable nutrient supplement companies are not members of NASC but do follow proper labeling and legitimate good manufacturing practices and have their products supported with scientific data showing their benefit and efficacy for use in horses.
6. July 2011
You can reduce pesky fly bites with just a few simple procedures:
- Number one and most importantly…Keep Stalls and Run-in Sheds Clean!
Pick up manure at least twice daily, cover your manure spreader with fly netting, and keep manure far away from your daytime shelter. Spray the manure with organic fly control to kill the adult flies or spread predators on the pile to kill larvae.
Mesh leg wraps protect the horse’s legs without overheating sensitive soft tissue. Use wraps that are durable and will not loosen or slip down the horse’s legs, risking more serious injury as they stomp their feet or travel. Remove wraps at night when flies are dormant. Mesh Fly Sheets work well. Watch for areas that may rub and cause hair loss. Usually good quality sheets that fit well will not be a problem and again you can remove in the evenings.
- Clean Feed Tubs Periodically
Sweet feed that attracts your horse also attracts flies. If feed tubs are attached to a wall, scrub out as conscientiously as your dinner plate. Preferably use only plastic or rubber tubs that can be removed from a stall after each feeding and cleaned.
- Screen-in Shady Stalls and Run-in Sheds if Possible
Closing doors facing South and East reduces sun intensity but increases fly congregation. Use mesh/screened products that allow air circulation but keep flies out. Increasing air movement with fans will also help.
Garlic may be one of the most researched and talked about herbs in equine and human health fields. Among all the wonderful things garlic can do for us and our animals is it ability as a natural fly repellent. Use small amount at first and even mix into a little sweet feed or you can mix with apple sauce. Gradually increase the amount of Garlic as the horse tolerates it. There are many herbal fly repellents that already contain garlic that are flavoured and that may be the easiest route.
- Fly Predators...They work best when started before the full blown fly season gets underway.
A biological fly control system using tiny insects that prey on the flies in their larval state, aims to stop the cycle of fly infestation before it begins. Simply releasing the tiny insects into manure piles and other areas in which flies commonly lay their eggs can reduce the number of flies by as much as 80%. The people at Organic Control, a supplier of the tiny creatures, say, "the gnat-sized insects don't bother humans or animals as they are nocturnal, do not bite or sting and are rarely even seen, but when used as directed they can dramatically reduce the fly population."The biggest problem I have seen with fly predators is unless you are quite a ways from other horse or cow populations they may not work as expected unless the neighbours are also using them.
5. July 2011
Salt Lake City - All quarantined farms and facilities associated with the recent outbreak of the equine disease, Equine Herpes Virus–1 (EHV-1) have been released from quarantine. Utah veterinarians have seen no additional cases of EHV-1 in horses since the end of May. That has prompted State Veterinarian, Dr. Bruce King, to believe enough time has passed for most horses that may have been exposed to the virus traced to an Ogden horse show to have developed the disease. EHV-1 is not transmissible to humans.
**Horse owners should feel free to participate in rodeos, horse shows, parades and other horse events with no more risk of contracting the disease than before the recent outbreak..