You asked, we answered! In this episode of our monthly series, Ask the Vet, Dr. Lydia Gray and SmartPaker Sarah answer your questions about springtime shedding, spring shots, spring pasture, feed rations in spring, and Cushing’s Disease, also known as PPID.
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Questions answered in this episode:
1. As the spring comes and horses start to shed their winter coat, I thought of this question. Is it healthy to use a shedding blade to get the winter coat off faster or is it healthier to leave it alone and wait until the horse will lose his winter coat by himself?
2. When should I start my horses on pasture as the spring comes? I’ve heard after the winter the grass in the pastures get too much sugar and fructan and are not healthy for horses to graze on. When is the best time to start letting the horses out to graze?
3. How should the feed ration of a horse change in the spring and should it at all? Is it recommended, in general, to put a horse on less grain than he was in the winter? I know each horse is individual, but I would love to hear about this in general.
4. Does it make a difference at all if a horse has his/her spring shots in early or late spring? Does it affect the way he is going to respond to the shots or anything else?
5. What is Cushing’s, and what is it caused by? What can I do to manage it?