This has been a tough week with the insane shootings in Las Vegas. Today I passed a large sign spanning the Georgia interstate announcing that 1150 people had died in traffic accidents in this state this year. We have all faced loss of some sort and for us, it was our cat this week. As a veterinarian I have faced death so many times I have come to accept it as a fact of life. What I have had a hard time understanding is why humans and domestic animals sometimes have a protracted loss of health first.
I have looked constantly for the squirrel nursing home, the bird rehab center and the fish in wheelchairs at the nursing home. Yet for you and me and the horses, dogs, cats and other pets it seems that so many have ill health first. Often it is debilitating and miserable long before death comes. Physicians and veterinarians have so many ways to diagnose diseases now and medicines to treat them too but few have the answers explaining the cause or the prevention of them.
In fact, spending 1 hour watching television will find about 20 minutes of advertisements and almost all of them are medicines to treat all of our “problems.” Pain, obesity, constipation, cigarette addiction and more each with severe warnings that this medication may have side effects including suicide, death, and other problems worse than what is being treated. When we return to the programming, the show may have a story involving doctors in a hospital treating the ill or a crime show where people face life and death situations.
I Want To Die YOUNG At A Very OLD AGE[dropcap]I[/dropcap] am not sure about you but I just don’t accept it. I heard an expression recently that suggests that I want to die YOUNG at a very OLD AGE. So my simple mind decided to investigate why we become ill and then die, just like my cat and the dogs and horses and parents that have gone before me. Hence the reason behind some of these blogs from your “equine dentist.” I want you all to realize that I am a horseman first, a veterinarian second and finally your equine dentist.
But I also realize that this is very new and very different from what you all have heard and experienced as horse owners. Many of you will never remove grain from your horse’s diet or believe that the diet has anything to do with the ill health of your horse. There are others that look for various foods that I have never heard of insisting that they are natural, whole or organic and therefore good for the horse. Arsenic is natural and can be grown organically, but it will kill you and your horse.
A Review[dropcap]I[/dropcap] want to take a moment to review the information I have presented in past blogs. If you haven’t read them yet, just click the links. It is also OK to re-read them. I also want to emphasize that these are hypotheses based on human research. I am only writing about them in hope that a researcher may take interest and substantiate them.
- The gastrointestinal track (GIT) is a tube running through all horses starting at the mouth. What is inside this tube is outside the body and only molecules are allowed to pass across the solid tube wall. (Doughnut Hole)
- The bacteria inside this tube remain inside the tube and lives a life that is in balance with the horse. (Symbiosis and the horse's gut)
- The bacteria within the GIT are fed with the food we eat. They turn this food into molecules that can be absorbed into the body to give nourishment to the horse.
- The food that enters the GIT has been eaten for tens of thousands of years and has been recognized as good. In other words these foods know they will be eaten and die inside the horse and this causes no harm to the horse.
- When new foods are introduced, the bacteria in the GIT often are killed much like an invasion of a bigger, stronger or smarter army. This food tries to protect itself from being eaten by producing proteins called lectins that weaken or kill the animal eating them. (Lectins)
- From the war in the gut between the bacteria and the new food’s lectins, the gut wall becomes damaged causing leaking that allows these invading lectins into the body. Within the body they mask essential cell ports, mimic important proteins, and can even turn the body against itself (autoimmune disease).
- The result of this constant war in the GIT is illness and eventual demise of the horse from this illness.
It’s overwhelming to many of you but hang in there and just look at the big picture. Lectin filled grain is “new” to horses and is not found in the natural diet of horses. Next week I will discuss the diseases in humans that have resolved in the past 12 years when lectins have been removed from the diet by one medical researcher. I will postulate some of the diseases in horses that may also be a result of ingesting lectins.
The Horsemanship Nutrition Course
If this article makes you want to learn more then click here to find out about this course offered by The Horse's Advocate University.Discover nutrition for horses
Equine Dentistry Without Drama™Your horse’s health is important to us at The Equine Practice Inc and so are their teeth so remember to call Melissa and Doc T for a dentistry appointment. 888 HORZVET (467-9838)
Return to Travels With Doc T blogs