Does Your Horse Need a Lysine Supplement?

Newsdate: Tue, 20 Sep 2011 - 11:35 am
Location: SAN DIEGO, California

L-Lysine is an amino acid.  Amino acids are the building blocks of protein.  L-Lysine is important in metabolism, a healthy nervous system and proper immune function.  A well functioning immune system can prevent disease and boost overall health.

Protein forms the skin and hair coat, builds muscle and strengthens bones and ligaments.  To help assimilate protein a horse needs a proper balance of amino acids in their system.  Amino acids are obtained through food but unfortunately most grass and grain are low in amino acids, Lysine in particular.

Many horses are affected by Lysine deficiencies unless they are being properly supplemented.  Lactating mares, growing foals, breeding stallions and performance horses under high stress are most likely suffering from a Lysine deficiency.  They may not reach optimum growth or recover as quickly from injury as well as having a compromised immune system, which leads them to be more susceptible to disease and sickness.

One of the most common diseases of the modern day horse is a disease called Equine Rhinopneumonitis (EHV-4), which is caused by a herpes virus. Rhino is the inflammation of the respiratory tract somewhere between the nose and the lungs. Horses are typically infected at a young age (between 2-4 years), usually during their first respiratory tract infection.

Neurologic Herpes Virus (EHV-1) is caused by a respiratory herpes virus gaining access to the spinal cord due to a weakened or compromised immune system. The best treatment for neurologic herpes virus is to prevent it from happening by protecting the horse's immune system by not over-medicating (especially with steroids), over-vaccinating or over-stressing.

Since Rhino is caused by a herpes virus, it lives in the horse's body and cannot be cured, but may be successfully managed.  Outbreaks may occur during times of high stress to the immune system (i.e. training, hauling, shows, other disease/infections, ulcers etc.).

Grains and grasses are considered inadequate sources of Lysine. Supplementing the immune system with Lysine may help prevent herpes outbreaks and be beneficial to optimal health and performance. DePaolo Equine Concept's L-Lysine supplement is an all natural way to provide an actual horse dosage to correct Lysine deficiencies and address health concerns.

About the Author

Flossie Sellers

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As an animal lover since childhood, Flossie was delighted when Mark, the CEO and developer of EquiMed asked her to join his team of contributors.

She enrolled in My Horse University at Michigan State and completed a number of courses in everything related to horse health, nutrition, diseases and conditions, medications, hoof and dental care, barn safety, and first aid.

Staying up-to-date on the latest developments in horse care and equine health is now a habit, and she enjoys sharing a wealth of information with horse owners everywhere.