SmartPak’s Ask The Vet- Springtime Shedding, Shots, Pasture, and More!

by Dr. Lydia Gray | May 8th, 2017 11:05 PM | No Comments

[originally published in the April 2017 issue of Show Horse Today]

Questions answered in this special episode:

  1. As 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 has in the winter?   I know each horse is individual, but would love to hear about this in general.
  4. Does it make a difference at all if a horse has had 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?

About the Author

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.

Leave a Reply