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Fluctuations between warm and sunny daytime temperatures and cold or chilly night significantly stress the pasture grass.
Not only does this weather foster the accumulation of fructans
but also encourages the proliferation of endophytes.
Both these factors pose challenges for horses, particularly those already grappling with metabolic issues. Even small quantities can exert considerable strain on the equine organism.

Horse health: fructan breakdown and endophytes

In instances of dysbiosis within the large intestine, the breakdown of fructans may occur ineffectively, leading to a rapid decrease in pH levels and subsequently mass die-off of intestinal flora. Endophytes are fungi that inhabit plants in a symbiotic relationship, enhancing the plant’s stress resistance. Unfortunately, the metabolic byproducts of endophytes are incompatible with horses.

Consequently, many horses are responding with thick, stocked up legs or swelling along the neck crest. Geldings often exhibit oedema around the sheath area, while mares may develop lower abdominal oedema. Some horses experience bloating and flatulence that can escalate to colic, or get laminitis. Additionally, there is an increased occurrence of conditions like mallenders and sallenders in susceptible horses.

In light of this, it is urgently recommended, particularly for metabolically challenged horses, to avoid consuming pasture grass at this time.
Thisincludes letting them out on the pasture to let off steam and preventing them from nibbling while out on a walk or hack. If a horse displays indications of fructan or endophyte overload, immediate consultation with a veterinarian is essential, especially in cases of laminitis or colic.
Should symptoms manifest within a manageable range, supporting the metabolic system in rebalancing itself is advised.

Helpful steps

Administering bitter herbs can foster intestinal stability while concurrently stimulating liver function, aiding in the enhanced excretion of toxins via the bile duct. Detox herbs facilitate kidney function, expediting the breakdown of oedemas. Intestinal herbs have proven efficacy in managing flatulence, while tOKAPI ColoProtect forte can be added in situations involving faecal water until the digestive equilibrium is restored. Complementary to veterinary intervention, OKAPI HoofCool forte can be considered when suspicions of laminitis arise, thereby speeding up the restoration of natural hoof metabolism.

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