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The trend for unprocessed and unrefined foods in the human world may soon be crossing over into the equine industry, as horse owners and practitioners look to “whole foods” to improve the health of their animals.
Whole foods are plant foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible, before being consumed.
A case in point is that of 16-year-old international Grand Prix stallion Lucky Dance, who was nearly 210kg (460lb) below his competition weight, constantly agitated, and having serious problems in his hindend. Lucky Dance was said to be near death when Germany-based equine cardiologist and veterinarian Dr Timurhan Tastutar, Ph.D took a leap of faith to treat the ailing equine. He altered the stallion’s diet to include simple, natural ingredients and a wholefood supplement that ultimately saved his life.
Tastutar has been a practicing veterinarian since 2000; specializing at first in surgery, he then received his Ph.D in equine cardiology, and the combined experiences began to open his eyes to the many physiological problems that plague the equine. His original research focused on developing a less invasive therapy to treat tendon injuries topically via nanoparticles. In his studies of multiple sport and racehorses afflicted with colic, tendon injuries, and cardiovascular issues, Tastutar began to realize a key component in keeping performance horses healthy was consistently lacking: nutrition.
KWPN stallion Lucky Dance came into Tastutar’s care in May of 2017. A former international Grand Prix competitor in Europe, the bay stallion had undergone chemical castration, and when his condition failed to improve despite multiple attempts and diagnoses, the decision was made to geld him. His rapid weight loss and muscle deterioration had no obvious cause despite multiple tests. In a last ditch effort to save the horse’s life, Tastutar threw out the hypothetical veterinary rule book, transitioning the stallion to a very simple, basic diet: high volumes of quality hay, whole oats, polysaccharides and fructose to support energy intake, and Crypto Areo Plus+, a wholefood supplement that includes chia seed, papain, spirulina, kelp, rosehips, green cabbage, fenugreek, and reishi.
“In the first three weeks, he continued to struggle, but with slow improvement,” Tatustar said. “After six weeks, there was a major turnaround, as the now gelding began to put on weight in leaps and bounds. As of October 2017, Lucky Dance is back in full training, with a full neck and minimal maintenance despite being an older horse. He still needs a bit more muscle development in his hindend, but the transformation brought on by providing him with superior nutrition was simply amazing.
“In my own experience, when I begin to diagnose a horse I typically always first check the stomach; nearly 70% of horses that need to be injected in the sacroiliac joint saw marked improvement simply by changing the quality of hay, grain, and water to better support their nutritional needs. Performance horses require these high quality foods, as well as 50-60 liters of water per day, something that automatic waterers can limit. High volumes of high quality forage, turnout, and the removal of inflammation causing sugars in processed feed are all key in reducing ailments and keeping horses healthy.”
While Lucky Dance’s story is one of the more extreme cases of recovery, Tatustar says he has consistently seen positive results addressing nutritional issues as the underlying cause of many equine health issues. Firsthand accounts, as well as research on past case studies and the long-term effects of nutrition all contribute to his ongoing experiences in bringing horses back to full health. Other horses have shown 10-15% weight increases as well as substantial positive shifts in soundness and overall wellbeing with Crypto Aero Plus+, a complete vitamin and mineral supplement.
The product contains whole oats, timothy hay pellets, alfalfa hay pellets, sunflower seeds, green peas, yellow peas, rice bran oil, ground flax, rose hips, green cabbage, papaya, algae, organic yeast, anise, fenugreek.