Fall Comforts

This stir-fry is easy to make and has a burst of flavor from the chicken, apples, and fennel bulb. It’s a great, easy meal idea and delicious for breakfast as well.

If you’re looking for a fast and inexpensive dinner idea as you come in from the barn, give this a try.

Chicken Apple Stir-Fry
3 chicken breasts or the meat from 1 whole roasted chicken
2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil
2 apples
1 onion
1 bulb of fennel
1 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and basil

Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. If chicken is raw, heat butter/coconut oil in large skillet or wok until melted. Add chicken and cook on medium/high heat until chicken is cooked through (If chicken is pre-cooked, cook the vegetables first, then add chicken). While cooking, cut the apples and onion into bite sized pieces (1/2 inch) and thinly slice the fennel bulb into thin slivers. Add all to skillet or wok, add spices and continue sautéing until all are cooked through and fragrant. This will take approximately 10-12 minutes.

Courtesy of the Wellness Mama (WellnessMama.com)

Vet in Your Pocket

Horse Side Vet Guide (HSVG) is a brand new app for iPhone users that is designed to help caretakers of horses (and other equines) make better health-care decisions for their horses.

POI_App_11_13Importantly, HSVG is observation-based. It is all about what you actually see, not what you assume you see. It is about making you the best observer you can be, and then guiding you as to what to do once you have made those observations.

The app is powered by an extensive and ever-growing knowledge base on everything from common problems to rare diseases: lists of observations, skills, how-to videos, veterinary diagnostics, diagnoses, treatments, and so much more- available to you “Horse-Side”.

Horse Side Vet Guide is intended to increase the quality of communication between you and your equine veterinarian – for the benefit of your horse.

Toxic Treat

Horses can safely eat many fruits and vegetables, but in the case of some innocent-POI_avocado_11_14seeming produce, the ingestion of even a few pieces can cause a serious toxic reaction. One such fruit is the avocado.

Persin, a substance derived from fatty acids contained in avocados, is believed to be the toxin responsible for health problems in horses and other animals that eat the fruit. In horses that ingest avocados, the toxin can cause colic, irregular heartbeat, respiratory distress, neurologic dysfunction, edema, and other signs of illness.

True or False? Test Your Knowledge

Most horse owners around the country are fully aware of the threats posed by diseases such as West Nile virus (WNV), rabies and Equine Herpesvirus (EHV-1). But fewer horse owners know about Potomac Horse Fever (PHF), its inherent risks and how to determine whether or not their horse is at risk and should be vaccinated. Here’s a short true or false quiz to help separate fact from fiction.

PHF is only found near the Potomac River.
The name of this potentially debilitating disease is misleading. While the initial PHF outbreak in 1979 occurred near the Potomac River in Maryland, since then the disease has been identified in 43 states, three Canadian provinces, parts of South America, the Netherlands and France. Horses grazing on a pasture near the Shasta River in the 1940s showed similar clinical signs, resulting in some referring to the disease as Shasta River crud.

PHF is caused by bites from various insects.
Unlike other insect-borne diseases such as WNV and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), PHF is not caused by the insect actually biting a horse, but by the horse ingesting infected aquatic insects such as damselflies, caddis flies and mayflies, which are commonly found in areas near creeks and rivers. This can happen while horses graze in proximity to those creeks and rivers, or when they ingest dead aquatic insects in their water buckets or hay.

The clinical signs of PHF can include fever, decreased intestinal sounds and diarrhea.
True. PHF can be difficult to diagnose as its clinical signs are subtle and mimic other diseases, in particular salmonellosis. Fevers can range from 102 – 107°F at the disease’s onset. Within two weeks of infection, the fever may be accompanied by clinical signs of colic, mild to severe diarrhea, absent appetite and depression. As the disease progresses, some horses suffer from toxemia and dehydration.

One of the most devastating effects of PHF is the possible development of laminitis.
Frequently, horses develop laminitis several days after the diarrhea starts. Approximately 40 percent of horses diagnosed with PHF have subsequently developed laminitis.

Horse owners can take measures to reduce the populations of insects that can be infected with the disease.
Good farm management practices include keeping your horse’s food covered, restricting grazing near creeks or other bodies of water during the peak season for PHF (spring, summer and early fall in temperate climates) and using repellents to decrease fly and other insect problems in your barn.

Veterinarians are the best resource for determining whether or not to vaccinate a horse to help protect against PHF.
While not considered a core vaccination by the American Association of Equine Practitioners, Potomac Horse Fever is a disease that should be considered as a risk-based vaccination. Your veterinarian can help you evaluate whether or not PHF poses a significant risk and make a recommendation.

It’s Show Time

 Summer is peak season for horse shows and events, and Colorado State University veterinarians remind riders that it’s important if traveling to take steps that will help prevent the spread of equine infectious disease.

Recent cases and outbreaks of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1), which can cause potentially fatal neurologic disease, have drawn attention to the need for prevention. Influenza, salmonellosis and strangles are some other infectious diseases of concern, said Dr. Paul Morley, director of infection control at CSU’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

In a new video, “Preventing Infections in Horses Attending Shows and Traveling,” CSU equine experts outline specific, low-cost precautions for horse owners. View it here: http://col.st/1mPraWg.

“Some advance planning and a few low-cost, common-sense preventative measures will help keep horses healthy while traveling,” Morley said. “Protecting the health of your horse makes these steps well worth the time and thought.”

CSU veterinarians advise horse owners to thwart infection by understanding and watching for symptoms of illness. They also recommend precautions including disinfecting trailers and equipment, and preventing contact that could spread pathogens.

Morley recommends that riders traveling with horses take the steps outlined below; these tips are discussed in more detail in the CSU video.

• Prepare for a trip by properly cleaning the horse trailer and consulting with your veterinarian about your horse’s present health, vaccinations, diseases of concern and any other relevant issues. Pack all cleaning equipment and health supplies needed on the road.

• Avoid strangers, and don’t borrow or share. Contagious diseases are transmitted through contact – meaning direct nose-to-nose contact among horses, as well as your horse’s contact with surfaces that an infected animal might have contaminated with saliva, respiratory secretions or manure. Bottom line: Separate your horse from other horses, and use only your own tack, grooming, feeding and watering equipment.

• Create a clean environment for your horse during a show or event. If possible, set up portable panels to confine your horse on event grounds, or fully clean and disinfect on-site stalls before housing your horse at an event.

• Monitor your horse for signs of illness. During an event, keep tabs on your horse’s temperature; monitor feed and water intake to ensure it is normal; and watch for other signs of illness. Ask your veterinarian for health information and how-to demonstrations, if needed.

• Segregate the traveling horse upon return home. A horse that has been at a show or event may be incubating illness, so keep the horse apart from others for five to seven days and monitor for any illness that might arise before returning the horse to the home group.

Small But Mighty

What has four legs, mad basketball skills, great hair and looks awesome in his jersey?POI_Amos2_6_14

It’s Amos the Wonder Horse, and he’s one of the busiest Minis we know. Each year, he spends a little time with the world famous Harlem Globetrotters, visiting schools and helping the team teach their program, the ABC’s of Bullying Prevention.

The Globetrotters made Amos an honorary goodwill ambassador for his community service work. Plus, what other team has a real horse that can actually play the basketball game, H.O.R.S.E.?

Amos also visits nursing homes, works with special needs kids, and visits schools with local law enforcement. In his spare time, he paints, plays the xylophone, plays beanbag toss, and posts on his Facebook page where he has friends from around the world who follow his daily adventures.

Get Going on Grass

Did You Know? Horses that graze on pasture consistently eat more slowly.10313661_10150390447994970_1026370195013098683_n

If you let your horse out to graze on pasture for only a few hours each day, and provide hay the rest of the time, you’ve likely noticed how he approaches the grass like a vacuum cleaner, barely lifting his head the entire time he is outside. On the other hand, horses who graze on pasture 24/7 are more relaxed, eating less grass at a slower pace, taking time to rest and interact with buddies.

Researchers at North Carolina State University were interested in just how much pasture horses consume at varying combinations of pasture and hay availability. What they found confirms what we have all witnessed. The less time you allow for pasture grazing, the more excited your horse will be at the opportunity to have fresh grass and he will eat nearly three times faster than if he had access to pasture 24/7.

The Fungus Among Us

POI_Mushrooms_10_14Mushrooms contain some of the most powerful anti-oxidative and probiotic properties known in any food product. They have strong anti-viral properties, excellent anti-inflammatory active ingredients and other natural healing elements. For instance the Reishi mushrooms can help horses process their stress better, while the Cordycep builds muscle mass and helps with muscle recovery, and the King Trumpet is known for it’s high antioxidant properties.

Learn from the Pros!

Top professionals have years of experience as riders, trainers, coaches, and clinicians. You name it; they’ve probably done it. But, believe it or not, they were all amateurs at one time. So, we’ve asked them what their tips to today’s amateurs would be, with their experiences in mind. Here’s what they had to say:

Gayle Lampe: “I’m so old that I barely remember being an amateur! From a professional’s point of view, I wish the amateurs would listen to what the trainers tell them to do. A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing, and that is very true when dealing with horses.”

Gigi Nutter: “Take the time to enjoy the journey while you are working on getting to your destination. Remember, there can be detours along the way. Sometimes, the back roads take a little longer, but in the long run, enjoy the scenery and allow your mind to process your work.”

Dale Brown: “I’m not sure I can even recall my days as a youth rider! But, from a trainer’s perspective, I wish they would understand that there are a million factors to riding and showing. They need to be proud of every single accomplishment they make.”

Jamie Price: “I wish I knew how important rhythm is. From the swinging rhythm of the canter down to a jump, to the swing of the hips in the sitting trot, rhythm is the force behind the beauty and elegance between horse and rider.”

Karen Evans Mundy:In my early years as an amateur, I wish I had known that winning wasn’t everything. Learning to be happy with a great ride, and/or the progress you have made with your horse, is very rewarding.”

James Hale: “I wish amateurs realized it’s about what you learn (good or bad) each time you ride, and enjoying the process of reaching the goal. That is what is valuable—not just attaining the goal.”

Take it from the pros, and keep these tips in mind when you’re riding—whether it’s at your home base or in the show ring.