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A team of researchers from Australia’s University of Queensland has determined that the population of a specific type of bacteria increases in the equine hindgut just prior to the onset of laminitis. They believe that the death of these organisms somehow releases toxins that can trigger a devastating laminitis condition.
Gabriel Millnovich says the equine hindgut bacteria streptococcal species (EHSS), specifically streptococcus lutetiensis, multiplies rapidly just prior to the first appearance of clinical signs of laminitis. While these streptococcal species represent less than 10% of the total hindgut bacteria in the typical horse, she says the EHSS numbers can multiply to 60% to 80% of the total within 4 hours of the start of a laminitic episode. She believes that the EHSS flourish due to their appetite for oligofructose, a sugar found in lush pasture, as well as starch. If further research proves that EHSS can cause laminitis, preventing the disease could be as simple as somehow eliminating the large-scale death of these bacteria in the hindgut.
Regardless of the sport, athletic coaches indicate the most important factor for top level athletic performance is footwork. Jack Brainard, writing in If I Were To Train A Horse, says an athlete’s feet must always be in the right place at the right time regardless of whether it’s a pro football player, gymnast, dancer, boxer or tennis player.
“If a horse is to perform, he must know where to put…