Letters: 05/03

Ingredients Correction
Your January article on combination supplements evaluates many supplements, including our TF Performance and Show distributed by 4-Life Research. This product is distributed globally.

Your concluding comments are not favorable, but users of our product who also subscribe to Horse Journal pointed out to me that you don’t have accurate label ingredients information for comparing to your recommended values.

The corrections that need to be made from your original published list are:
Vitamin C 2,200 mg
Biotin 10 mg or 500 mg of 2% biotin
Folic Acid 10 mg
Vitamin B6 12 mg
Vitamin K 7 mg
Molybdenum 10 mg
Phosphorous 4.5 gm or 17,026 mg of monosodium phosphate
Calcium 4.9 gm or 12,059 mg of calcium carbonate
Zinc 499 mg as proteinate.
Montmorillonite trace mineral source 2400 mg
L-lycine 842 mg
dl-Methionine l,100mg
Arginine 50 mg
Choline 2,400 mg
Canola Oil 21,000 mg
Safflower Oil 21,000 mg
Flax Oil 1,418 mg

With these 17 errors, I can see why we have a poor rating. I would appreciate a correction. I consider TF Performance and Show one of the most complete products on the market with immune support.

-Joe Ramaekers DVM
4Life Research

The information we obtained on the ingredients in this product was incorrect. In fact, we found several websites that contained even more conflicting information. With the corrected information from Dr. Ramaekers, our new comments are:

The vitamin C in this product is equivalent to what a horse might get from 4 to 5 lbs. of fresh grass. The biotin is within the range suggested as beneficial for feet. Some stabled horses may have low folic-acid intakes, but studies suggest they need supplementation at the rate of 20 mg/day. The 1:1 calcium:phosphorus ratio in this supplement is appropriate for hays with a Ca:P ratio of at least 2:1, and the amounts provide 22.5% of the minimum daily calcium requirement and 32.1% of the phosphorus requirement for an 1,100-lb. horse. The zinc provides 100% of the daily requirement for a horse in work, although it’s 150 to 200% of a horse’s needs at maintenance. Equine diets are already rich in choline, and vitamin K and molybdenum aren’t required in the diet. Montmorillonite (clay) is not bioavailable as a mineral source. We find the guaranteed amino acid levels low in this product.


Solid Meal Of Information
You regularly put out information before my veterinary sources even start thinking of the topics. I depend on you for up-to-the-minute accurate infomation in a nice format my clients love. I encourage them to subscribe, sit back and be ready for a solid meal of information, not light snacks with ads in between.

-Alaire Smith-Miller DVM


Scanner Information
I read your March 2003 article on horse theft with great interest as we have long been considering microchipping our horses, just as we have done with our dogs and cat. However, your statement that ”Microchips can help, but there are three different types, each requiring its own specific scanner” may not be accurate. A universal scanner has been available for years, although this availability was not well publicized until just a few years ago.

-Kristen Wenger

We asked J. Amelita Facchiano, author of Handbook on Horse Theft Prevention (www.eclipsepress.com, 800-866-2361; all royalties go to the American Association of Equine Practitioner Foundation), to address this question. She replied:

Information about EID is sketchy because vendors market more to veterinarians than to other aspects of the horse industry, as this procedure needs to be done by a veterinarian.

There are two major U.S. vendors, and both comply with ISO Standards established by the International Standards Committee in the mid 1990s. ISO 11784 and 11785 have to do with microchips and readers, requiring vendors to be able to read both radio frequencies, thus creating universal reading capabilities. If your horse is microchipped and lost/stolen, law-enforcement agencies will have something positive to go on and carry forth in court if necessary.

If you live in a state with brand-inspection laws, I suggest considering a freeze brand, as it is prima facie evidence in a court of law. Electronic ID (EID) is a great backup, however, as it is positive proof of ownership.


Rabies Vaccinations
Your March 2003 vaccination article recommends rabies every year. Why do dogs only need rabies vaccinations every three years’

-Ute Miethe

Studies haven’t been done to find out if horses truly need it every year. The timing between vaccine boosters reflects how long the manufacturer chose to check that antibody levels stayed up. With horses, they stopped at a year, so the vaccine was only approved to protect horses for a year.


Garlic For Rain Rot
I wish to share my solution to rain rot (March 2003). Last fall, I read about garlic for skin disorders. I’m not one to jump on bandwagons about herbal cures, but this worked. My 26-year-old Anglo-Arab mare and her 13-year-old son have been chronic ’rotters.’ Since I started the garlic powder last fall, even with our wet winter, there hasn’t been any rain rot. I feed three tablespoons a day in their feed, and they love it.

I was also having a problem with a similar skin disorder in a pack of foxhounds. Eight of the 27 hounds had a rain-rot-type crusty skin that worsened after it rained. My veterinarian was stumped. We tried antibiotics, antifungals, feed changes, cortisone, etc. I began the garlic and the skin problem cleared up. One teaspoon per day for the hounds. Their coats are shiny and full now.

I don’t know the scientific reason behind it. But I know that it has worked for my animals when everything else has failed. This doesn’t just treat it; it prevents it.

-Susan Walker

Garlic has a variety of potential actions that may come into play here, including as an antioxidant, improving circulation to the skin, antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic and repeling or killing external parasites like mites and lice. However, the effective dosages haven’t been established. It’s also hard to say what might be going on with your animals without a diagnosis.

If you’re going to use garlic long term, you should periodically check the blood to make sure there is no Heinz body formation on the red cells that could lead to an anemia. The same applies to the dogs, except they’re even more sensitive.


Captan Burn
I wrote to you about my horse’s skin problem, which appeared in your March 2003 issue. I used Captan on my horse, as a veterinarian suggested. Within three days, her entire body had a severe chemical burn. The vet gave me the incorrect dilution. People need to know how much to use.

-Marlene Friedman

Your horse may have had an unusual sensitivity, but you’re right that people should know what they’re doing when they use Captan. The dilution we use is one level tablespoon to a gallon of water. Always read label warnings before using this product, as it can cause irreversible eye damage. If you or your horse gets it in an eye or accidentally consumes it, contact your doctor or vet immediately.


Chopping Hay
Your article on chopped hay (December 2002) made me decide to share a solution to our old horse’s chewing problem. She is 29, has Cushing’s and has had three molars removed. She has to chew her hay a lot and drops chunks out. So, Dad bought a garden mulcher and runs our hay through it into a bag. Now she can eat more hay in less time, and there aren’t any half-chewed clumps of hay around. We only run enough through for a few days at a time.

-Karen Willis


Muzzling For Sand C olic
I use the Best Friend grazing muzzle (March 2003) for another purpose. About 2 1/2 years ago, my horse got a severe case of sand colic. We moved him to different pastures, but it happened twice more. The problem was that when he grazes he sometimes pull the grass up by the roots. Someone suggested I try a muzzle. He can still graze, but he can’t yank up the grass, roots, dirt and all. We haven’t had a problem since.

-Joyce Y. Mogill


Muzzle Queen’s Advice
I’ve been using muzzles for almost 20 years to help with diet issues for my horses and am known locally as the ’muzzle queen.’ I was happy you suggested this method of dietary restriction. It never fails to amaze me how people don’t realize how dangerous too much weight is to horses and think muzzling is inhumane.

I use muzzles year-round because of having too much pasture for my very easy keepers. I think it’s easier for the horses to wear them all the time because they become accustomed to them and eventually don’t seem to mind. I also ’bait’ them with a treat when I put them back on after feeding, so they all eagerly reach into their ’bucket’ without complaint.

I, too, use the Best Friend muzzle, but only in the winter because I find the bottom hole is too large to use in the summer. In the summer, I use a plastic muzzle modified so it has a smaller grazing hole.

I’ve noted that many people have trouble fitting muzzles properly. There must be about an inch of ’give’ between the bottom of the horse’s mouth and the muzzle bottom. Without it, the muzzle is uncomfortable and restricts their ability to graze at all.

-Paula Moore


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