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Tip of the Week

 

For the Equine Cold & Flu Season - Mushrooms to the RescueFor the Equine Cold & Flu Season - Mushrooms to the Rescue

Cough, sneeze, sniffle!

Cold and flu season is in full swing and humans aren't the only ones at risk. Horses too can fall victim to the wintertime runny-nose blues.

While humans can try to avoid contact with other ill people, cover their achoo-ing and attempt to wash their hands with the same germaphobic zeal as Howie Mandel; the fact is, horses simply can't keep up.

Two critical conditions exist that make horses (and humans) sick:

First, it's cold.

Now remember, it's not literally the cold that causes a cold or the flu. It's the body's reaction to those decreased temperatures. Horses who are kept outside or in cold stalls during the chilly season exert more energy to maintain a core body temperature (through for example, shivering). As a result, calories are diverted to temperature upkeep rather than immune system maintenance.

Also, as we recall from kindergarten, colds and the flu are extremely easy to spread. If your horse is kept warm and snugly indoors but is in close proximity to other sickly horses, especially with recycled ventilation, there is an increased likelihood of catching something.

Second, it's darker.

While it would be fantastic to jet off to the tropics with your equine companion during the winter season to soak up some extra rays, the face of Mr. Sunshine won't be back for another couple months. This means a decreased production of the “sunshine” vitamin D, a top contributor to a healthy immune system.

Not only is the sun more absent during winter months, but horses are also kept sheltered or covered by blankets and sheets. Combined with their darker skin tones (which naturally produce less vitamin D), these factors can result in vitamin D deficiency and lead to a greater susceptibility to infection from viruses and bacteria.
So, what's a horse owner to do?

Before dishing out hundreds of dollars in vet fees, Dr. Marvin Hausman, medical scientist and clinician, advocates an all-natural, preventative solution: mushrooms.
While mushrooms have been used in natural medicine for thousands of years, Dr. Hausman has taken speculation to some of the most prestigious research facilities in the world - Penn State and University of Texas to name a few - and has validated the powerful health benefits of mushrooms for both animals and people.

Here's what he found: mushrooms 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.

So remember, mushrooms are not just delicious sauteed, they are healthy for horses too!

This tip was brought to you by Dr. Marvin Hausman (www.totalnutraceuticalsolutions.com)  and KAM Animal Services, home of KAM’s “Equine Learning Circle” FREE webinars, which take place twice a month. Go to www.kamanimalservices.com  to sign up for the January 31st (targeting balanced feed and supplements) webinar.

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