How Can I Help My Pony Regain His Vibrant Sheen?

Our older pony has taken a long time to shed her winter coat. It has lost the vibrant sheen it once had. How can I help? – Shawn F., Greenwood, SC

First, make sure your pony is healthy by having your veterinarian perform a complete physical exam on her. Cushing’s Disease is a common problem in older horses and ponies, and can result in long, curly hair as well as other symptoms. Next, discuss your pony’s nutrition with your veterinarian. Dental issues, parasites and simple old age can all affect how well she can chew her food as well as digest and absorb it. Now may be a good time to gradually switch her over to a senior diet. Finally, senior equines can benefit from a few carefully selected supplements such as digestive support, antioxidants like Vitamin E and Vitamin C, and support for aging joints. But there’s nothing like Omega 3 Fatty Acids for a shiny coat!

[Ed. note: Originally printed in the May 2010 issue of Salt Block Gazette]

Lydia F. Gray, DVM, MA SmartPak Staff Veterinarian and Medical Director Dr. Lydia Gray has earned a Bachelor of Science in agriculture, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), and a Master of Arts focusing on interpersonal and organizational communication. After “retiring” from private practice, she put her experience and education to work as the American Association of Equine Practitioner’s first-ever Director of Owner Education. Dr. Gray continues to provide health and nutrition information to horse owners through her position at SmartPak, through publication in more than a dozen general and trade publications, and through presentations around the country. She is the very proud owner of a Trakehner named Newman that she actively competes with in dressage and combined driving. In addition to memberships in the USDF and USEF, Dr. Gray is also a member of the Illinois Dressage and Combined Training Association (IDCTA). She is a USDF “L” Program Graduate and is currently working on her Bronze Medal. Find Dr. Gray on Google+

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