RVR Voice RVR May 2012 Newsletter : Page 2

Neglect & Starvation ou are on your way to work and you drive by a small pasture with a few skinny horses standing still, heads hung low, depressed... you wonder what to do. Many people just keep on driving and never give it a second thought. Although every week they are noticeably thinner and hungry, many close their eyes to this increasing problem. It is called malnutrition, neglect, and starvation . There are many signs that lead to this conclusion. Body mass is graded on a scale called the Henneke Body Condition Scale. A rating of 1 is emaciated and 9 is extremely obese. Anything under 3.5 is considered too thin. A large abdomen could indicate a heavy intestinal parasite load. A low hanging head may mean depression and lack of energy. A dull or shaggy coat usually indicates poor nutrition and/or intestinal parasites and sometimes even anxiety. These signs mean a horse is malnourished, starved and neglected. According to various studies, the most common cause of starvation in horses is owner ignorance followed by economic hardship. Although it does not excuse the issue at hand, it may explain this growing problem. There are many health problems associated with a horse that is starving. These problems include metabolic issues as well as psychological and emotional deficits. Additionally, a starved horse may have a low trace mineral and vitamin status, low electrolyte levels, poor hydration, an empty gut and a lack of digestive bacteria. by Michelle Russell Y With a severely malnourished horse, care must be given to not feed too much too soon or it can cause refeeding syndrome, which is the feeding of concentrated calories and can lead to kidney, heart, and respiratory failure. A malnourished horse may also have an impaired immune system which can make them susceptible to additional sickness and disease. Prevention is the best defense for starvation. You should never stop and interact with these horses. Their behavior may be unpredictable. The owners of these horses may be defensive and difficult to deal with. It is always in the best interest of your safety to call and report your suspicions to the local Sheriff’s Office Agriculture Department. In most counties in Florida, Animal Services directs livestock and horse calls to the Sheriff’s Office. You may also call the local shelter, humane society or ASPCA and they will point you in the right direction. Contacting a horse rescue is also a good idea. Horse rescues can often get these calls expedited and are often able to take the horses immediately. RVR Horse Rescue prides itself in the fact that we are successful in the rehabilitation of all types of cruelty and neglect. We work with many agencies to offer the best results for neglected, abused, or starved horses. Our program includes many volunteers who offer the skills necessary to provide medical attention, care, and training to lead these horses on the right path to a loving forever home. If you notice a starved, neglected, or abused horse please call us at 813-500-1071, or 813-310-9094. You may also contact the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Agriculture Department at 813-247-8000.

Neglect & Starvation

by Michelle Russell<br /> <br /> You are on your way to work and you drive by a small pasture with a few skinny horses standing still, heads hung low, depressed... you wonder what to do. Many people just keep on driving and never give it a second thought. Although every week they are noticeably thinner and hungry, many close their eyes to this increasing problem. It is called malnutrition, neglect, and starvation. There are many signs that lead to this conclusion. Body mass is graded on a scale called the Henneke Body Condition Scale. A rating of 1 is emaciated and 9 is extremely obese. Anything under 3.5 is considered too thin. A large abdomen could indicate a heavy intestinal parasite load. A low hanging head may mean depression and lack of energy. A dull or shaggy coat usually indicates poor nutrition and/or intestinal parasites and sometimes even anxiety. These signs mean a horse is malnourished, starved and neglected. According to various studies, the most common cause of starvation in horses is owner ignorance followed by economic hardship. Although it does not excuse the issue at hand, it may explain this growing problem.<br /> There are many health problems associated with a horse that is starving. These problems include metabolic issues as well as psychological and emotional deficits. Additionally, a starved horse may have a low trace mineral and vitamin status, low electrolyte levels, poor hydration, an empty gut and a lack of digestive bacteria. With a severely malnourished horse, care must be given to not feed too much too soon or it can cause refeeding syndrome, which is the feeding of concentrated calories and can lead to kidney, heart, and respiratory failure. A malnourished horse may also have an impaired immune system which can make them susceptible to additional sickness and disease. Prevention is the best defense for starvation.<br /> You should never stop and interact with these horses. Their behavior may be unpredictable. The owners of these horses may be defensive and difficult to deal with. It is always in the best interest of your safety to call and report your suspicions to the local Sheriff’s Office Agriculture Department. In most counties in Florida, Animal Services directs livestock and horse calls to the Sheriff’s Office. You may also call the local shelter, humane society or ASPCA and they will point you in the right direction. Contacting a horse rescue is also a good idea. Horse rescues can often get these calls expedited and are often able to take the horses immediately.<br /> RVR Horse Rescue prides itself in the fact that we are successful in the rehabilitation of all types of cruelty and neglect. We work with many agencies to offer the best results for neglected, abused, or starved horses. Our program includes many volunteers who offer the skills necessary to provide medical attention, care, and training to lead these horses on the right path to a loving forever home.

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