A quote from Ekkehard Brysch (first printed in the Oldenburg Registry NA-ISR Newsletter, Issue No. 4, 2010):
"There was a lot to learn from this year's WBFSH convention. One very impressive fact was - among others - presented by Nutritionist Don Kapper. He focused on the fact that most of us do not correlate poor toplines with nutrition, in this case with a low protein diet. While muscles contain 72% protein, a diet lacking in amino acids (protein) will result in the horse breaking down their muscles to meet their daily protein needs - which result in a poor topline."
"Don reported research done by Dr. Ed Ott in Florida. Two groups of weanlings were fed the 2007 NCR for horses' recommended amount of minerals and vitamins, with one group fed less than the recommended amount of protein. In the low protein group, the researchers found severe decrease in bone density and tendon strength! Increasing the mineral in the diet had no affect on bone density or tendon strength, as long as the protein remained deficient."
"When the protein levels were raised to meet their needs - without changing the amount of minerals in their diet, the bone density increased and the tendon strength improved! In other words, feedling less amino acids (protein) than needed can not only be seen in the horses' topline development, it can also cause severe decrease in bone density and tendon strength."
"What is the conclusion? Young, growing horses, especially those that develop a poor topline caused from inadequate amino acids (protein) in their diet, may be predisposed to develop DOD (Developmental Orthopedic Disease)."
The CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) announced import restrictions on horses, equine semen, and equine embryos originating from the US. This restriction is the result of the current outbreak of Contagious Equine Metritis (CEM) here in the United States. CEM is caused by Taylorella equigenitalis, a bacteria that is sexually transmitted, and is a notifiable disease, meaning reporting a case to authorities is mandatory.
For more information about CEM, please see the following links:
Contagious Equine Metritis Update from the USDA
Contagious Equine Metritis: Culture and Diagnosis
Contagious Equine Metritis Review Article
CEM Treatment Protocols
Video Interview with Dr. Peter Timoney covering the basics of CEM
Canadian Import Permit Information: www.inspection.gc.ca/english/anima/heasan/import/permit_covere.shtml
A good resource for Equine Reproductive Health Issues is : www.Equine-Reproduction.com