As the diet you feed your horse will likely vary from their original wild diet, sometimes it's necessary to feed them supplements from a place like Forest Farmacy to keep them healthy. Omega-3 is one nutrient that can help your horse in a variety of ways; here are 3 conditions the supplement can help treat and prevent.
Just as with humans, it's not uncommon for a horse to suffer from breathing difficulties. Often, sensitivity to hay dust and spores exacerbates respiratory problems, so feeding your horse a low-dust diet and turning them out regularly can improve their breathing. However, this isn't a catch-all solution for every horse. If minimising dust doesn't clear up the problem, another way to combat respiratory issues is to feed your horse a supplement with omega-3. Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation in the lungs and relieve shortness of breath, improving conditions like inflammatory airway disease (IAD) and recurrent airway obstruction (RAO). In a study conducted at Purdue University, all horses who were fed a low-dust diet and omega-3 supplements showed improvements in their breathing.
If you race your horse, you've likely heard of EIPH (exercise-induced pulmonary haemmorhage) before, given how common the condition is. When tested over the course of 3 races, 80% of thoroughbreds and 87% of standardbreds were found to have the characteristic blood in their trachea and bronchi. While medication is usually used to treat and prevent EIPH, omega-3 supplemention can also have a positive effect. It increases the flexibility and elasticity of your horse's red blood cells to improve blood glow, reducing the risk of capillaries rupturing during a race. A Kansas State University study reported that thoroughbreds who took omega-3 fish oil supplements for around 12 weeks showed a reduction in pulmonary haemmorhage.
Keeping your horse's skin healthy is important if you want them to look good and feel good. Thankfully, omega-3 is a great supplement for improving skin problems of all types. One of the most common problems it can help with is sweet itch. Omega-3 is proven to reduce the allergic response horses get to the insect bites which cause sweet itch, treating the condition and preventing it from returning. It can also reduce skin inflammation, reduce hair loss, and help wounds heal.
When it comes to feeding your horse omega-3, make sure you get it in the form of specially formulated horse supplements for healthy skin or another type of supplement made for equine use. Too much omega-3 has been shown to have adverse effects in animals, so it's best to leave dosages to the professionals.
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