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Weight Control in Horses and Ponies

Control Weight and Obesity in Horses and Ponies

Horse owners must periodically check the weight and diet of their horses, since the basis of good health is proper feeding.

Otherwise, we could observe a progressive loss of weight or, on the contrary, that poor diet, accompanied by poor physical exercise, leads to obesity.

In this last case, the problem of obesity in horses and ponies depends on its prevention. And before the situation leads us to end up calling the vet to recommend a diet or feeding program, the solution is much simpler.

If our horse or pony is gaining weight, we should:

– Increase the physical exercise of the animal, whenever this is possible.

– Avoid certain foods that trigger insulin resistance, such as an excess in cereals, materials with a high starch content and excessively appetizing grasses.

– Ensure that none of the changes mentioned above involve other health problems and in such a case, we can improve insulin sensitivity through diet. Here we will have to supervise it with the veterinarian.

– In certain cases, the veterinarian may prescribe treatments with levothyroxine sodium or other drugs, although its efficacy is not scientifically proven.

Diet and exercise should go hand in hand in any type of obesity control plan. Of course, the regulation of feeding must be individualized since each animal is a world and has different needs.

Above all, a primordial norm: you should not lose more than 1% of body weight per week, it being more realistic to set a target of 0.5% weekly after the first week.

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