Come Visit at the Congress

Did you know… Sweet PDZ can be found at the 48th Annual Quarter Horse Congress! The largest single breed horse show in the world, over 9,000 horses will be competing. That is a lot of horses, and a lot of ammonia that Sweet PDZ needs to combat. AshleyHmp07.jpg.w300h245

Sixteen years ago,  Wayne Davis Quality Bedding asked if they could make Sweet PDZ available through his on-site shavings operation on the show grounds.  Beginning in 1998 Wayne was kind enough to give provide Tom Menner, the president of Sweet PDZ Horse Stall Refresher, access to promote, sample and sell Sweet PDZ to Congress exhibitors during their stay at the show.  From that point on Tom and Wayne developed business relationship as well as a close friendship (in addition to being awesome people, Wayne and his wife Judy are highly successful Quarter Horse Trainers).

Also, over the past few years we have worked with Cashmans Livestock & Equipment (www.cashmans.com).  They have been long time retailer of Sweet PDZ, and they operate a 10,000 sq. ft store on the Congress in the Congress Hall Annex.

We all know that the ventilation isn’t the best at horse shows, and you want your horse to stay as healthy as possible. Scurry on over to get your order of Sweet PDZ in and keep your horses breathing easy!

Where Does It Come From?

We all know that Sweet PDZ Stall Refresher is an awesome product… but where does it come from and what is it?

The surface mining

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Sweet PDZ is actually a zeolite, or a naturally occurring mineral created from volcanic activity. The unique honeycomb lattice framework of hydrogen, oxygen, aluminum and silicon creates special properties. These attribute make them uniquely suited for gas adsorption, water adsorption and desorption and ion exchange. These characteristics make natural zeolites extremely useful in a wide variety of industries.

Now, it sounds great and all… but how does this miracle mineral make it from the mine to the bag? And then to your barn and coop?

The process of mining and producing Sweet PDZ goes like this:
-The Sweet PDZ raw ore is carefully mined from the deposit by surface mining.  It has minimal environmental impact.
- Big chunks of the ore is trucked to the plant where it goes through a primary crushing process to reduce the size of the ore to a more manageable size.
- It then goes to a secondary crushing process, where the ore chunks are crushed to approx. baseball size.
- These chunks then go into a giant dryer where the ore is dried to remove all but approx. 5-6% of the moisture content
- This dried ore then goes into another crushing and screening process to produce the proper size “granules” and “powder” to make Sweet PDZ.
- These “screened” products then go into big bins where it flows into the “Bag House” where the bagging production line is set up.
- In the Bag House, workers and machinery join forces to bag and palletize Sweet PDZ products.
- The finished product is then ready for shipping.

It’s nice to know where things come from, especially something that you are trusting a beloved farm of your family to. It comes from the earth, and makes it back to the earth after its job is complete. That is what we call one green product that makes for a healthy world!

Preparing for Winter

Horses enjoy cold weather and the relaxation that winter brings, but it takes more than hay to keep them healthy during the colder months. According to Juliet Getty Ph.D., Optimal nutritional planning will help them enjoy the season and emerge in good condition when spring arrives.

Hay is not enough

Hay cannot compare in nutritive value to fresh grass. Once grass is cut, dried, and stored, it begins to lose vitamins C, D and E, beta carotene (for vitamin A production), and omega-3 fatty acids. Normally, your horse produces vitamin D when he is exposed to sunlight. But spending more time indoors, combined with shorter daylight hours, can induce a vitamin D deficiency that leaves bones, joints, and muscles unprotected. Therefore, a vitamin supplement, along with ground flaxseed (to provide omega 3s), will fill in the nutritional gaps created by hay-only diets.

Consider alfalfa

Contrary to popular opinion, alfalfa it is not higher in sugar than grass hay. It is high in protein, but this is a good thing. At a moderate intake (approximately 10 to 30 percent of the total hay ration), it boosts the overall protein quality of the diet, keeping your horse’s muscles, joints, feet, skin, hair, and bones fed, and protecting his blood and immune function. Alfalfa also serves as a stomach buffer against developing an ulcer, a common occurrence when a horse is stalled during the winter after being used to full-time turnout.

Offer hay free-choice

Cold weather increases the metabolic rate, which means that horses need to burn more calories to maintain a normal internal body temperature and a consistent weight. When you provide hay free-choice, you will notice that your horse naturally consumes more to help stay warm and account for his higher energy need. Free-choice is always best (regardless of the season or condition of your horse) because it allows your horse to self-regulate his intake and eat only what his body needs. Consider testing your hay; choose hay with low sugar and starch levels for the insulin resistant, laminitic, or overweight horse.

For more calories, add concentrates

For many horses, hay will not provide enough calories to maintain normal body condition.  A high fat commercial feed is fine for healthy horses. For the easy keeper or insulin-resistant horse, avoid sweet feeds and those that contain oats or corn. Beet pulp, alfalfa pellets, or low starch commercial feeds are excellent alternatives. Fatty feeds such as rice bran, ground flaxseed, or chia seeds offer the most concentrated source of calories. Avoid corn or soybean oils, since they promote inflammation due to their high omega-6 fatty acid content.

Older horses need special attention

Your older horse may need a joint supplement along with vitamin C to help produce collagen (the protein found in bones and joints), since less vitamin C is produced by the body as horses age.

For the aged hard keeper (or any hard keeper, for that matter), be sure there is no competition from more aggressive horses for hay. Feed a senior feed, along with added ground flaxseed. And be sure to check your horse’s teeth. Poor dental health is the number one reason for weight loss in older horses.

Salt for all Seasons!

Regardless of the weather, horses require a daily supply of salt. In cold seasons, salt helps promote enough water consumption to prevent dehydration. In warm seasons, salt replaces what is lost from perspiration. A full-sized horse requires at least one ounce (two level tablespoons or 30 ml) of salt each day for maintenance, this much provides 12 grams of sodium. Heat, humidity, and exercise increase the horse’s need.

There are several ways to accomplish this. The best ways include offering free-choice granulated salt, or adding salt to your horse’s meal (for palatability, limit the amount to no more than 1 tablespoon per meal). A salt block should be available should your horse want more. A plain, white salt block is preferable, but many horses do not lick it adequately since it can be irritating to the tongue. Mineralized blocks often go untouched due to their bitter taste; however a Himalayan salt block is often preferred.

Calculate the amount of sodium your horse is getting from any commercial feeds or supplements and add salt accordingly. Always have fresh water nearby.

Yucky Yuck, What’s that smell?

Did you know that Sweet PDZ isn’t just for use on straw and wood shavings? And it certainly isn’t just for horses! After all, isn’t ammonia really just ….well…. “ammonia”; whether it is being produced by a dog, cat, horse or elephant.

 Sweet PDZ is very effective in neutralizing and eliminating dog and cat urine and feces odors. It also works well to neutralize and eliminate what some folks refer to as, “doggie” odors. Sweet PDZ works equally as well on grass and astro turf as it does in horse stalls, AMAZING right?

imagesOld dried up spots, or recent and moist areas can be treated for odor simply by sprinkling Sweet PDZ over the soiled area. Sweet PDZ granules will work safely on all types of carpets and flooring, furnishings and fabrics.

 This makes it a GREAT addition to dog kennels.

And, it’s easy to use! Sprinkle Sweet PDZ in the area where odors are noticeable and let it sit until the odors have been eliminated. Depending on the concentration and amount of ammonia and odors that are present, it may take Sweet PDZ minutes or several hours to perform effectively. Just allow a reasonable time for Sweet PDZ to work, and then vacuum or sweep it up. It’s safe to use on grass, and in fact will compost to a natural fertilizer… you can leave it right there!

Just last week, a dog kennel named Bark-A-Bout gave us a call,  they have about 200 dogs at this facility. These guys have 12,000 sq ft of Synthetic Turf rather than grass. The owner, Michelle called as the odor was getting way to out of hand. She had read a lot about Sweet PDZ and wanted to give it a try. We were able to get her several bags in time for their big event this last weekend.

According to Michelle, it was a lifesaver! “My event was a huge success thanks to Sweet PDZ, my hero!!!  :)   The product is truly amazing. My staff and I are in awe on how much of a difference it made, in such a short time.  It’s so nice to walk into the play yards and not be embarrassed. ”

If you have dogs, cats, chickens or horses (or any animal for that matter), give Sweet PDZ a try!

 

 

Loss of a Legend

Thoroughbred champion Cigar died last evening, Wednesday, Oct. 7, at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital from complications following surgery for severe osteoarthritis in his neck. Foaled April 18, 1990, the Hall of Fame horse and longtime visitor favorite at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Hall of Champions was 24.Famed Thoroughbred Cigar at the Kentucky Horse Park's Hall of Champions

At retirement, Cigar’s career had a total of 19 wins out of 33 starts with earnings of $9,999,815, which was a record at that time. He was voted Champion Older Male and Horse of the Year in both 1995 and in 1996.

“The great champion Cigar thrilled racing fans and surely brought new ones to the sport as he compiled win after win in his incredible streak of victories,” said Governor Steve Beshear. “An example of racing at its best, he continued to serve as an ambassador, bringing joy to countless visitors to the Hall of Champions at the Kentucky Horse Park, where he will be missed.”

The first horse to tie racing legend Citation’s record of 16 consecutive victories, Cigar had lived at the Kentucky Horse Park since his retirement in 1999. Cigar was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in August 2002, his first year of eligibility. 

“Cigar had been experiencing arthritis-related health issues over the past six months and was in outstanding physical and mental condition other than the osteoarthritis he was suffering from in several of his cervical vertebrae,” said Kathy Hopkins, director of equine operations for the Kentucky Horse Park.  ”Medical therapies had failed to relieve the pressure that the arthritis was causing on his spine, which had resulted in instability in his hind legs.” 

Cigar had been under the care of a team of veterinarians from the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute and the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, some of the best equine veterinarians in the world. The team of veterinarians and surgeons had deemed that spinal surgery was the only option to relieve the pressure and ensure the highest quality of life for the horse.  

“Cigar had been suffering from a cervical spine instability for which conservative medical therapies could no longer halt the disease’s progressive nature,” said Dr. Rocky M. Mason, of the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. “The decision to seek out a more lasting treatment modality was made.  Surgery is never an easy decision in a 24-year-old horse, but Cigar had proven himself a regal, classy and determined patient making the decision to proceed an easier one.” 

Surgical correction was performed by a team led by Dr. Brett Woodie, of Rood and Riddle, Dr. Laura Werner, of Hagyard Equine, and Dr. Steve Reed, of Rood and Riddle who pioneered the special procedure performed. 

“The Kentucky Horse Park was committed to providing him with the highest level of care possible,” said Hopkins. “We are heartbroken to lose this great horse, especially as we were trying to do everything we could to improve his quality of life and make him more sound and comfortable. Our park family is immensely grateful to Dr. Reed and the outstanding medical teams at Rood and Riddle and Hagyard Equine for their ultimate dedication to and concern for this unmatched champion.”

“Cigar developed a compression of his spinal cord in the lower part of his neck,” said Dr. Reed.  ”The most severe compression was between cervical vertebra 6 and 7, with additional compression between cervical vertebra 5 and 6. This was an acquired problem related to arthritis, and bony remodeling in the neck. The severity of this spinal cord compression became so problematic that all parties were left with few options, the best one being surgery. This was a significant surgery involving a prolonged recovery. Unfortunately, during recovery Cigar suffered a vertebral fracture and passed away.”  

Hopkins said Cigar will be remembered as one of the greatest horses the world has ever seen, and thanked fans who have supported Cigar and the Kentucky Horse Park since his retirement. She also noted the efforts of park team members who have taken excellent care of him over the years, including Wes Lanter, Robin Bush and the late Cathy Roby.

Dr. Reed continued, “The outcome was disappointing and very sad for many people; but especially for Wes and Kathy who remained at his side to the end.”

Like the other Hall of Champions horses who died in retirement at the park, Cigar will be buried on the Memorial Walk of Champions near Thoroughbreds Alysheba, Bold Forbes, Forego, John Henry and Kona Gold; Standardbreds Cam Fella and Rambling Willie; American Saddlebreds CH Imperator, CH Skywatch and CH Gypsy Supreme; and American Quarter Horse Sgt. Pepper Feature.

“Cigar was an incredible horse who left an everlasting mark on the racing world,” said Ted Nicholson, interim executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park. “We are honored that Cigar was able to spend so many years of his life here at the park where he was visited by so many fans and will always be remembered.”

A public memorial service will be held for Cigar at a future date, yet to be determined.  Information will be posted on the park’s website once available at www.kyhorsepark.com.

Danger in the Trees

It’s that time of year again…to remind you about Red Maple Leaf Poisoning:10343652_770725102971340_3412774269663403883_n

The red maple tree is native to the eastern half of North America. Interesting in a discussion of the respiratory system is that red maple leaves become toxic to horses by interfering with the oxygenation of hemoglobin in the bloodstream.

The maple leaf is easily recognized because it is shaped like the palm of your hand. Various species of the maple tree differ slightly; and in the red maple leaf, the two sides of the center lobe are almost parallel to the mid-vein…like the stylized maple leaf on the Canadian flag. The underside of the leaf is silver grey and the vein lines are red.

Toxicity is believed to come from gallic acid produced in wilting or partially dried leaves. When ingested, gallic acid causes what’s called lysis―a breaking down of red blood cells responsible for delivering oxygen to all cells throughout the body. Clinical sign of poisoning include colic and fever and, in extreme cases, horses can die within 24 hours of ingestion. Horses that survive, many develop laminitis and disseminated intravascular coagulation.

Now, horses must ingest a lot of leaves for toxicity to be fatal, but ingestion at any level is problematic. Wilted leaves can remain on the ground and toxic for several weeks. As food sources may become scarce in the fall it is more likely for horses to ingest leaves.

Red maples can hybridize with other maples, so it is important to be informed about any variation of the red maple tree that might exist in your area and keep your horse’s pastures and paddocks free of these leaves.

Winter Care Made Simple

When summer turns to fall and fall to winter, not only do the seasons change, but so do the needs of your beloved pets. As important as it was to guarantee pet safety in the summer heat, it is crucial to note that colder weather also brings health and wellness risks for pets. Dr. Mitsie Vargas, a Veterinarian with the American Veterinarian Medical Association (AVMA), provides seasonal pet tips that can improve the winter wellness of your pets.

1)      Be Mindful of new objects in the Home. Fall means back to school, which also means new items appear in the house. Treat pets like curious toddlers and place harmful objects out of reach.  This can also include indoor plants that are actually poisonous if eaten.

2)      Nutritional needs change. Talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s specific nutritional needs during the colder months. Outdoor pets, for example, may need to eat more than indoor pets in order to generate enough body heat to remain warm.

3)      Acknowledge your pet’s tolerance for Physical activity. As the weather becomes colder, and pets need more of their energy to remain warm, it is sometimes necessary to cut back on your pet’s physical activity.  Depending on the thickness of your pet’s coat, it is advised to cut their time outside short.

4)      Early Detection is Key. Take your pet to get their winter wellness exam early! Summer is a great opportunity for pets to be outdoors and with outdoor exploration comes exposure to a feeding ground for lots of bacteria and diseases. These diseases may not appear in pets right away, thus taking precaution at the start of the new season is advised.

Colder weather also means the fast-approaching holiday season.  Give the gift of safety to your pets. The American Veterinarian Medical Association has provided holiday tips to ensure a happy and safe holiday for your pet.

  1. Should I be mindful of the excess of Holiday food in my home? Yes. One of the main challenges that the holiday season brings is the excess of food available around your pet. Be sure to keep people food in places that cannot be accessed by your pets. Be upfront with your guests, and ensure they do the same.
  2. Can my pet enjoy the same holiday treats that I do? No. Pet owners are urged to keep human treats away from pets. Specifically treats that contain chocolate, xylitol, grapes/raisins, onions and other foods that are toxic to pets.
  3. Can winter decorations be hazardous to our pets?  Yes. The holidays bring lots of seasonal home decorations, such as candles, decorated trees, and potpourri. Pet owners are urged to make sure pets are not left alone in the decorated rooms as to avoid danger.
  4. Is tinsel specifically hazardous to cats?  Yes.  The shine of tinsel can easily attract the attention of a curious cat. There are serious medical consequences if the cat eats any of this tinsel. It is suggested, that cat owners leave tinsel off of the tree all together.
  5. Is it okay to place my holiday plants anywhere around the house? No. As many pet owners know, pets like to chew on anything in reach. Indoor holiday plants such as mistletoe, holly, and lilies are actually harmful to pets. These plants should be kept out of a pets’ reach.
  6. Do some pets get scared around house guests? Yes. The holidays tend to bring lots of family and friends to one’s house. Some pets get scared or excited around a large group of new faces, thus it is advised that they are placed in another room. This can also help with tip number 1, in that guests will not end up feeding the pets.