Equine nutrition: a preliminary investigation of feeding practices in equine veterinary hospitals in the USA

Park, K., Garber, A., Hastie, P. , Robert, J., Kaya Karasu, G. and Murray, J.-A. (2018) Equine nutrition: a preliminary investigation of feeding practices in equine veterinary hospitals in the USA. Annals of Clinical Nutrition, 2018(1), 1001.

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Nutrition plays an important role in equine rehabilitation, with contradictory approaches existing on correct nutritional management of patients. The preponderance of information related to nutrient requirements for horses was designed for healthy horses. Very little scientific research has been undertaken to determine specific recommendations for horses with health issues. This study provides a preliminary assessment of current feeding practices within equine hospitals in the USA. A survey was distributed to equine veterinary hospitals (n=115) and the response rate was 21%. The responses provided information on the demographics of equine veterinary professionals, facilities and equine patients, and current nutritional practices. A substantial number of hospitals housed 51 to 100 patients (30%) on a short-term basis of between 1 to 3 days (38%), treating a wide variety of conditions; several of which require strict dietary management (colic, laminitis and metabolic disorders). All facilities fed hay as the forage source and 9 (38%) provided pasture turnout. Only one facility fed forage only, the rest fed supplementary feeds: including complete feeds, pelleted feeds and cereal grains. Seven facilities (30%) fed all patients the same type of feed, but none fed patients the same amount of feed. Most facilities had specific nutritional protocols in place (79%); half had conducted feed analyses and half also consulted a nutritional advisor. As the first known study to investigate the nutritional management strategies of equine hospital environments, a clear need for further research and validation of results is required.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Nutrition, survey, equine, Veterinarian.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hastie, Professor Peter and Murray, Professor Jo-Anne
Authors: Park, K., Garber, A., Hastie, P., Robert, J., Kaya Karasu, G., and Murray, J.-A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Annals of Clinical Nutrition
Publisher:MedDocs Publishers
Published Online:25 March 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Murray JA
First Published:First published in Annals of Clinical Nutrition 2018
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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