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The Role of Nutrition in Supporting Foal Health

The Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Pregnancy and Foal Health

The high degree of immune-modulation that occurs during the perinatal period, in conjunction with the effects of omega-3 fatty acid intake during pregnancy and lactation on allergic responses and metabolic alterations, suggest that many chronic immune-mediated diseases in offspring may be influenced by making appropriate alterations in the maternal diet, including supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids play a significant role in the growth, development, and overall health of offspring.
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) has long been recognized as an important component in the neural development of the fetus.
  • Increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids has improved gestation time and birth weights in people.
  • Recently, it has been suggested that the susceptibility of the fetus to chronic diseases may be altered by changing the mother’s intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Supplementation with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and DHA during pregnancy can contribute to an alleviation of allergic responses among infants, and similar reductions in allergic responses to feeds have been reported in rat offspring.
  • Zinc homeostasis, a mechanism in the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease, is altered in rat pups whose mothers had changes in their dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy.

Nutritional Solutions to Support Your Patients

See our recommended Platinum Protocols for common equine conditions and injuries.

Condition Products Protocol
Diarrhea Prevention Endemic Farm (Prophylactic Support for the Newborn Foal)
  • Bio-Sponge® Paste
Following adequate intake of colostrum 6–8 hours after the foal first nurses the mare, administer 30cc of Bio-Sponge® Paste BID for 4–5 days.
Diarrhea (Foal Heat Scours)
  • Bio-Sponge®
  • Platinum Balance®
Administer 30cc of Bio-Sponge® Paste or 3 tablespoons (27.6g) of Bio-Sponge® Powder mixed with 30cc of water 2-3 times daily. Discontinue use 1 day after intestinal disturbances resolve. To support digestion, administer 1/2 scoop (3g) of Platinum Balance® BID.
Orphan Foals
  • Platinum Neonate
Administer 1 scoop Platinum Neonate BID (50g) per 100 lbs.
Osteochondritis Dessicans (OCD)
  • Platinum Performance® Equine
  • Osteon®
Administer pregnant mares and yearlings 1 scoop of Platinum Performance® Equine BID and 1/2 scoop of Osteon® BID.
Epiphysitis
  • Platinum Performance® Equine
  • Performance Minerals™
Administer 1 scoop of Platinum Performance® Equine BID and 1/2 scoop of Performance Minerals SID for young horses.

SID = 1 time daily, BID = 2 times daily, TID = 3 times daily.​

The Science Explained

The Use of Bio-Sponge® (DTO Smectite) in Diarrhea and Foal Heat Scours

Diarrhea in young foals is a major concern, as up to 85% of all foals develop diarrhea. Foal heat diarrhea is non-infectious and considered to be a manifestation of normal changes in the microbial ecology of the intestinal tract. In contrast, diarrhea due to infectious agents is associated with significant rates of morbidity and mortality in foals.

What is Bio-Sponge®?

Bio-Sponge® (DTO smectite) is an organo mineral that is highly adsorption-efficient when placed in proximity to organic cations. Bio-Sponge® has an immense surface area which, along with its inner-layer micropores, is negatively charged and strongly and efficiently attracts organic cations. Bio-Sponge® provides a non-drug means of aggressively capturing and neutralizing bacterial endotoxins and exotoxins before they can escape the intestine and reach the circulatory system to cause systemic effects.

  • Effectively binds Clostridium difficile toxins a and b and Clostridium perfringens enterotoxins
  • Supports neonatal foals experiencing the harmful effects of microbial overgrowth and toxin production

Protocol for Bio-Sponge® Use in Foals

Because the first hours of life are critical for the passive transfer of colostral antibodies to the foal, Bio-Sponge® should be used in accordance with the recommendations on the label, such as waiting 6-8 hours after the foal first nurses the mare before administering the product. This delay is necessary because the results of recent in vitro studies indicate that Bio-Sponge® can reduce the concentration of IgG in mare colostrum.

Note: No adverse effects on colostral antibody transfer have been reported in over 12 years of clinical use of this DTO smectite product.

The Science Behind the Supplements

White Paper and Platinum Performance® Product Flyers

DTO Smectite for the Intestinal Health and Well-Being of the Foal

Download White Paper

Foal Care Category Flyer

Download Product Flyer

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Answers, Recommendations and Support

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