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[RC] Beet pulp and cigarettes vs. new fangled medicine - Sharon Hahn

I'll bet it's management methods that made your horses less prone to colic.  "Back in the day" more horses hung out in big pastures 24/7 and did work instead of being stalled all the time and working only on weekends.  That being said, new-fangled drugs make it possible for horses with problems to survive.  The latest issue of Equus featured a performance horse that had 3 colic surgeries as well as numerous other colic episodes.  In the old days, he would have died the first time. 

One must remember that only traits that affect REPRODUCTION have evolutionary advantages/disadvantages.  (There is a sci-fi story about a future world where nearly all the people are of limited intelligence and a few halfway smart ones are trying desperately to keep everything running.  The point of the story was that while being smart may be an individual advantage, greater intelligence doesn't evolve into the population if the smartest people have fewer kids than others do.)  However, it seems like it would only take a few wildly popular studs with problems to create genetic patterns - witness the prevalance of HYPP in Quarter Horses descended from Impressive:  " Most affected horses can be controlled quite well with medication and a proper low-potassium diet, therefore, many owners of affected horses considered HYPP a minor inconvenience in light of the line's tremendous value."  (source:  foundationhorses.com)

Tammy wrote:

Funny, "Back in the Days" (my Dads favorite saying) we used to use crushed up cigarettes and lemon juice!  Although, I'm sure it didn't work at all, the horses back then never seem to have very many colic problems that I can remember....Is it because horses have now lost the natural ability to fend off parasites and clean out sand with all of our new drugs and methods?  I just wonder.....
Tammy Robinson
Trail-Rite Products
18171 Lost Creek Road
Saugus, CA 91390
661/513-9269 office
661/713-3912 cell
661/513-9206 fax

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