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Establishing a Foal’s Healthy Gut Microbiome

April 15, 2020

Posted by Meredith Bonnell, MS in Nutrition

Why Colostrum_Mare and Foal Photo The mare-foal bond is a special connection that’s normally associated with the behavioral interactions between a mare and her foal. What’s not usually thought of is the bond formed between their immune systems and microbiomes. A healthy gut microbiome goes hand in hand with a strong immune system. Foals have innate immunity at birth, but several adaptive immune responses can take up to a year to develop to those of an adult horse. The correct development of a foal’s immune system is very important in protecting them from microbial pathogens and, in turn, gastrointestinal disease.

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The Role of the Gut Microbiome in Post-Partum Colic

January 15, 2020

Posted by Meredith Bonnell, MS in Mare Management

foaling mare Post-partum colic is a major issue and scientists are still not completely sure what occurs in a broodmare’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract that makes them at a greater risk for colic after giving birth. There have been recent studies characterizing the mare’s gut microbiome during and after pregnancy as well as immediately before an episode of colic in order to get a better idea of any changes occurring in their GI tract. Understanding changes in their microbiome may give us clues on how to better manage broodmares after parturition.

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The Equine Gut Microbiome

October 13, 2018

Posted by Meredith Bonnell, MS in Nutrition

mares and foals The gut microbiome has become a popular topic of interest in recent years as scientists are beginning to understand the vast impact it can have on overall health and development in both humans and animals. A microbiome is defined as the collection of genomes of the microorganisms that reside in a specific environment [1]. In regards to the gut microbiome, it is comprised of the genetic material of the microbes that inhabit an organism’s gastrointestinal system. In the horse, this microbiome includes bacteria, yeast, fungi and protozoa where the most functionally important microorganism is thought to be bacteria. Researchers have studied how this microbial community can affect not only the digestive tract, but also the immune response, endocrine system, behavior and even cognitive function.

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Please Note - photos used in these news articles are available in the public domain, have been purchased through istockphoto or (when referencing breeders or horses) have been submitted to Select Breeders Services Inc. by the breeding farm or horse owner. Photo credit has been provided where applicable. If at anytime you see something that needs to be addressed please feel free to contact us directly.

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